YouTube’s selective block

In the aftermath of protests against the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims”, Pakistan’s prime minister ordered the immediate shutdown of the video-sharing website YouTube on Monday.

Youtube said it will not remove the clip which has offended millions around the Muslim world, however, it has blocked access in countries such as Libya, Egypt and most recently, India and Indonesia where violent protests have remained unabated.

In its Friday statement, YouTube said that outside of Libya, Egypt, India and Indonesia, the video will remain on its website. Pakistan and Bangladesh both blocked access to the site late Monday.

The decision by YouTube to not remove the clip is fine as it states that the video is clearly within their guidelines. But then that brings us to the question that why block it in certain Muslim countries and not in others? Is the level of violence the deciding factor here? Because if it is, then that may send across the wrong message to the protesting masses – the message being that extreme violence could achieve results.

Resorting to violence shouldn’t be an option at any time – regardless of what the provocation is, for the lives of innocents are at cost here. It is unfortunate that the sentiments of millions are being played with by an individual or group with no regard for religious sensitivities but then if the question is turned over to free speech, should YouTube not be impartial here?

Crowds are already volatile and vulnerable – is being selective about blocking the clip in certain countries a prudent decision on YouTube’s part?

Don’t other countries have the potential to turn further violent in the aftermath of these protests or will blocking the website calm down the masses to a certain extent?


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72 Responses to “YouTube’s selective block”

  1. Fida says:

    As YouTube and its owner google is not removing these videos ,all Muslim countries should block both sites and all Muslim user should boycott these two sites

  2. Rafi Ahmed says:

    Some of the African countries started to ban Youtube and Google, and some Asian countries did the same like Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is okay to protest or say something when someone hearts you by their behave or works. But is it really good to hit and kill people in the name of God, Allah, Jesus and so on ????

  3. Bharat says:

    The major concern that you should always have is this self imposed censorship – Why?

    Censorship, except when it hurts a real person, does not equate to democracy.

    The other two big problems that Islam has to face is this ‘Victim attitude’ that is causing the wrong type of thinking and causing you to make many mistakes.
    And lastly – Before you attack any one else’s misdemeaurs please ask yourself if you have addressed your own major problems – this includes you criminal acts ( all the major one)
    then ask your selves if you are propagating bad ideas into your children’s heads,
    and ask your selves if what you are doing is compatible with responsible citizship

  4. Imran says:

    Banning of any website is not a solution. You ban youtube, then you will ban Google and at the end you wil ban Internet. Those who have organized this orchestra are very happy with our acts of violence as they were expecting it and they plan for it. Those who are creating trouble like IJT and Taliban affiliated organizations have their agenda and unfortunately all the Liberals like ANP, PPP, MQM are on back foot, or have joined the protest, not to be left alone. Its time to come forward and tell the truth. karachi is a city of 20 million people and only 50 (may be 200) activist of IJT and Jamaate islami were able to disturb the whole city. Shame on so called Liberals

  5. Naseema says:

    Banning of youtube is a very appropriate step taken by Pakistan Telecommunication Authorities.

  6. Irfan Ali says:

    ‘These’ people know how to incite the muslims, they know what buttons to push and more than anything they know what the outcomes of pushing these buttons will be. So lets not give them the outcome they desire by burning down our own homes and pushing an impoverished nation into further darkness. There are smarter forms or protest and blocking YOUTUBE no doubt is one of them. Lets hit where it hurts the most. And denying a website millions of hits will certainly serve if not all but at the very least a millionth of the purpose. Other muslim countries should definitely follow suit. The imperialists only understand monetary gains and losses so that is where the protest outcomes should be aimed.

  7. kalim says:

    I think we have very talented guys in all muslims country, so why we are not go/take decisions for our own (such website) like Paktube instead of Youtube , or Pak socail media instead of Face book , , if we have make such websites it will much banaficail for all muslim countries and begin a atomic power Pakistan should take do some thing with the help of PTA ……

  8. Samresh says:

    Muslims could blow up Bamiyan Budhdhas with impunity. Zakir Naik keps running down other religions with impunity. All muslims I have met have a very negative opinion (loud) about other religions but are ultra sensitive when something controversial about their religion is brought up.

    • Asim says:

      Dear Samresh,

      You must appreciate that you could write these comments on a muslim country based newspaper without being harrassed. It is unfair to generalise while saying “Muslims” did these bad things. We as Muslims, do not and will not support any insult to any religion and condemn the people who do that. Having difference of opinions is healthy and should be dealt through an intellectual debate. There are several scholars from Hinduism, Christianity, Buddism etc, who question Muslim beliefs but they do not derogate or insult Islam. If Hate speech is a crime, Holocaust denial is condemned, Semitism is prosecuted, why its called “Freedom of speech” when insulting Islam?. I hope you will ask this to yourself as well as other people who think the same.


      • Webina says:


        US has free speech. So anyone is free to express their opinion in media (print, video, music, films etc). This includes Holocaust denial, Anti-Semitism, etc. At the same time, acts of violence will face punishment. Furthermore, expressing such hatred (in the name of free speech) in schools, workplace,etc is absolutely not tolerated.

        Blowing up Buddha statues in the US will absolutely not be tolerated – as I said free speech does not mean free terrorizing – as it happens in Pakistan.

        And if you think Pakistan allows free speech – Good luck to you – Be doomed in your la la land.

  9. Mrs. Munim says:

    Like that govt. IT guy was saying on the telly the other day, they had tried for three days to disable the link, but there are just too many to block. Hence the site ban.

    I agree with the ban, because it will pinch you tube. And that pinch is something they will understand.
    I would not have agreed with the ban, if you tube had not taken less than 24 hours to remove any pro Hitler movies – as they are distressing to holocaust survivors and their families. Well, that principal should apply to the rest of the world too.

    However, violence is not the answer. These same number of people could have staged a long non-violent protest and maybe gotten better results. I really don’t see how someone can fail to notice a protest outside their embassy if there are even 70 people doing a sit-in-till-our-demands-are-met while blocking their gates. But I guess that will take more time than they are willing to spend. Shows their ‘love’.

    • Aditya Sehgal says:

      yes comparing an event where thousands were targeted and killed systematically with a low quality movie trailer is apt. Grow a thick skin

      • Asim says:

        Dear Aditya,

        How many were affected by Hitler? How many are affected by this movie?. I hope you can do the maths very well yourself. Grow up!


        • Rafi says:

          The reaction of the muslim world to a video posted by one ignoramous is ridiculous. And comparing the slaughter of millions of people to the reactions of people by a youtube video is also ridiclous. people should be free to voice there opinions which can be subject to debate, critique and exposed of wrongs. If something is offensive, Dont watch/listen to it! The western world has learnt to be very tolerent of other cultures and beliefs. I think Islamic cultures should do the same and put in context that this is one persons belief and does by no means reflect the opinions of the masses in the west

  10. Sanjay Singh says:

    I just do not understand one thing. Why not people from other religions behave the way Muslims behave?
    If it was movie on Hindu or Christian relegion, it would have gone unnoticed. But As its related to Islam, such a hue and cry is being made.

    Muslim should stop reacting to such things if thet really want to be seen as a matured population by rest of world.

    • Waqar Khan says:

      Anyone recall the famous Muslim Indian artist M. F. Hussain and his painting of some hindu goddess… why made such a hue and cry when it wasn’t even insulting?

    • Irfan Ali says:

      Maybe people from other religions do not feel as passionate or connected to their religion as muslims do. Is your apathy our fault? Disrespecting our Prophet is worse than anyone disrespecting our mothers or fathers. How will you react if someone makes a video disrespecting your parents? Multiply that by a gazillion and that will explain the Musalman love for our Prophet and Allah.

      I do not agree with the violence but protest we must albeit smartly. Burning down our own infrastructure is not the answer.

      • NASAH (USA) says:

        “Maybe people from other religions do not feel as passionate or connected to their religion as muslims do.”

        This is what makes a Muslim fanatic — too much passion too little thinking — and Irfan Ali — fanaticism bordering on insanity in the pursuit of our religious beliefs is no virtue — in fact it is the cause of all our ills.

        Our prophet was a human being — he insisted on being treated as a human being not as a deity — that’s why he banned making a picture of himself lest his followers start worshiping Mohammed – not God as happened with Jesus — yet the insane passions resulting in wanton violence with loss of lives and properties give the impression to the outside world that may be the ‘Mohammedans’ do worship Mohammed – as well.

        • NASAH (USA) says:

          “Maybe people from other religions do not feel as passionate or connected to their religion as muslims do.” They do Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs Buddhists all have passions for the and are connected to to their religion as much as Muslims are

          But when passions and emotions overpower reasoning and good sense that’s what makes a person a fanatic — too much flaming passion too little straight thinking for a rational being is no good — so Irfan Ali — passion bordering on destructive anger in the pursuit of our religious beliefs is no virtue — in fact it is the cause of all our ills.

          Our prophet was a human being — he insisted on being treated as a human being not as a deity — he taught tolerance to his followers — he suffered abuse and insults was laughed at — but never felt anger because he was convinced of the power of his message did not react with revenge against his tormentors because he considered them ignorant naive people who did not understand his message — who he was sure will later understand him and come into his fold.

          1400 years onward and 1.2 billion Muslims later — we Muslims love MOhammed passionately BUT have definitely forgotten Mohammed’s message of tolerance forebearance and knowledge against racism, ignorance and illiteracy about Islam.

          We declare to the world Islam is Peace but act as if Islam is all about Mayhem.

    • Ahtasham says:

      Hindu or christian, who do not like there own religion that is why they don’t protest and don’t care it however we Muslims like our religion and can not compromise on this thing…

      It should be cleared for all religion..

      Thank You..

    • Agha Naseeb says:

      Dear Sanjay,

      You have asked a very relevant question and I am glad you are interested in knowing why Muslims are so sensitive regarding a movie about their religion.

      Firstly, how would you react if someone insults your loved ones, say parents. I would understand you being angry. And unlike Christianity and Hinduism, us Muslims in Islam, we revere our Messengers from ALLAH including The Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H, Jesus, Moses and other prophets more than our parents. And there are clear instructions against their disrespect.

      Secondly the movie is not based on facts, neither was it made for entertainment or for Information. It was clearly made to hurt the Muslim masses.

      Regarding the point that Muslims should stop reacting to such insults to be viewed as mature population like the rest of the world, i hope you realize that Muslims are being attacked on all pretexts, both physically and emotionally around the world. In such circumstances its hard to stay mature and not give into one’s sentiments.



  11. well there are better ways of protest, which will definitely have a serious impact on western countries who are doing nothing but giving a statement that its their right of expression.
    NATO supply line should be cut down immediately and Arabian countries should also cut the supply of oil to the Europe and USA.
    because its our right to protect our religion n its respect.

    • NG says:

      Do you really think Arabian countries should cut off oil to Europe and the USA??? Well, why not start from yourself? Promise not to use internet, computer, mobile phones, TV, allopathic medicines as all of them trace back their roots to western world.

      Its easier to come up with lofty ideas but almost impossible to give up anything on personal front…even for the so-called love for the prophet.

  12. NASAH (USA) says:

    Yesterday the trashy video — today a French magazine published cartoons mocking our prophet — when some viscous characters see what makes the Muslim whopping mad and prone to violence like a clockwork — they will continue to provoke — and Muslims will continue to be provoked — till either we stop being provoked — or they get tired of provoking.

    Obviously we cannot force the world to respect Islam and its prophet by burning their embassies, consulates schools eating places and killing people by suicide bombings — that will be like falling in their trap — that will be like becoming their Pavlovian canine — that will be like confirming exactly what the provocateurs want the world to believe about Islam.

    And it will lead to more and more provocations

    The only solution to end this accelerating conundrum is that We Muslims must have quiet confidence in the authenticity of our religion and our prophet – to IGNORE the slights — and QUIT being provoked.

    Can we do that? The kinds of political and religious leaderships we have (declaring National Holidays to protest as if this is some kind of festival) — I doubt we can.

    • N.G. Krishnan says:

      This about the most sensible reasoning I have read for a while!

    • MKB says:

      If you throw a stone in a small tank, the water in the tank will flare-up violently. If you throw same stone in a much bigger tank the water in that tank will not do the same. So think before you react.
      These types of abuses are many in the internet directed to other religion including the Christianity. But there is no flare-pus.

  13. Zubair says:

    It is a shame on the part the of West when it comes to respect religions! It is considered a crime to say that Jews were not prosecuted by Hitler yet they consider it freedom of Expression when it comes to Our Beloved Prophet (p.b.u.h). Such episodes are becoming quite common where a man trying to gain cheap publicity resorts to such uncouth tactics.
    The administration of Youtube should have shown some Maturity by blocking the video altogether in not only Muslim countries but across the world. Today its Islaam tomorrow it could be any other religion. Religious sentiments should be considered and not allowed to be degraded under the blanket of Freedom of Expression. This is how mature and civilized nations should act.

    • Webina says:

      No Zubair… Mature countries have other pressing issues…. Such as removing poverty, providing better health care, education, roads, infrastructure, democratic elections etc….YES USING FREE SPEECH…

      Backward countries that wants to self-destruct itself, will use any excuse to achieve the goal of annihilating itself.

  14. jpsundriyal says:

    Such films should be censored,why should there be so much hate ,distrust when all the religions teach love and kindness..? an atmosphere of love is the only solution..

  15. wali lasi says:

    The selecltive treatment of You Tube is beyond understanding as to allow in certain countries and ban in the others…it must respect the sentiments of the masses as we all live in a single Earth,we have to think globally and to respect the public international law and conventions or treaties, among the nations.

  16. shah says:

    If Youtube dnt want to remove this its good to be shutdown the youtube.coz if they cant understand the feelings of us.and are playing with it.then why it remains to be Open.

    • Richard Howard says:

      You could always just avoid that site when you are online, couldn’t you? Why shut it down just because you and others don’t like it? Should governments tell us what we can see and what we can think and what we can read? I hope the day never arises when government interferes with our life to that extent. Just a thought…!

      • Syed Yasir says:

        What is the stake of Sam in picturing our Prophet p.b.u.h? Definitely the movie was produced to ridicule us. Business produce what customers like not what customers don’t like. Youtube is also in a business. Well interference, government is already interfering. Can you roam around without an identity card? You need government approved ID before you can even walk on a street.

        Secondly if that is freedom of speech, these protest are freedom of expression. Just matter where you apply the definitions!

        • Aditya Sehgal says:

          I think you need to understand the concept of freedom of expression. Have you even watched the trailer? How can you be offended by something you have not even watched? Nobody is forcing you to go to youtube. Freedom to offend is a fundamental principle of freedom of speech

          • Faisal says:

            Freedom to Offend is the fundamental of freedom of speech? Well in that case why remove the pro Holocaust videos? its only offending a minority right?

            Secondly I think you need to understand the concept of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech constitutes that none shall be done if it incites hate or violence. You make such a movie loose innocents all around the world and still defend it. Great work geniuses.

            Freedom of speech has a its limitations as does any other freedom. This video crossed the limit and should have been removed all together. It wasn’t so bear the consequences now.

            If anyone is to blame for those innocent deaths due to violent protests its the man who made this video and now it will be youtube if they keep the video running.

          • Deal says:

            Okay let us understand this “freedom to offend is a fundamental principle of freedom of speech”

            By this logic we should be allowed to offend a race.
            By this logic we should be allowed to discuss an event wwithout going into jail
            By this logic we should be allowed to make fun of people and pass personal remarks.

            The last time I checked these are not considered appropriate acts. Freedom comes with responsibility and then we have situations where government through rules and regulations and laws instills responsibility among people.

            Do not try to paint a picture as we are animals where one is free to do whatever they want. Lets call spade a spade.

  17. muslim says:

    i am very happy that you tube is banned in pakistan ,although its true that no treaty like MlA(mutual legal assistance) has been signed between youtube and government but youtube authorities know it very well that this movie has created plentiful outrages, broken the law of human moral conduct, brought violance in many countries ,is a massive blow to feelings of millions of muslims all around globe. raising ethnic, cultural, religious and geographical conflicts is not allowed in any religion of world.
    black sheeps are every where but no plitical , moral or social support should be given to these culprits at any level if we want true peace in my opinion,youtube should block all access links to that humiliating movie and should come up to expectations of millions of viewers . youtube earns a lot from these muslim viewers ,if it does not come upto their expectations it has to bear the brunt of their anger.

    • Asif says:

      Completly agree with the comments here, youtube should remove this video immediately, and never allow such videos that demean or hurt religious sentiments to be uploaded. A video against Prophet Mohd PBUH is the biggest crime in our eyes, because we love him more then our parents. And such videos hurt our sentiments very badly, You should be prepared for our reaction if you allow it to happen.

  18. Eduard says:

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  19. Khan says:

    Dear Author,

    Why only anti-islam film should be banned? Don’t you think looking at Law and Order situation in Pakistan, even Pro-Islam videos should also be banned? Isn’t pakistan suffering from an overdose of islam?

    I feel the only films that should be banned in Pakistan are anti-christian and anti-hindu, because there is anyways enough intolerance against hindus and muslims in Pakistan that there is hardly any minority left since Indpendence.

  20. umair khan says:

    i think its a rigt decision to do that,in wake of the protests carried out in Paksitan atleast somthing is done by the authorities to condemn this grave insult of 2nd largest religion and community of the will to an extent pacify the violent demonstration in pakistan.

  21. Imran Khalil says:

    I think the best way would be to protest on International level.. why do not we boycott all the products manufactured by this country? why don’t we boycott our economical relations with them and all those muslim countries that help them in any context weather its oil or any other product just dismiss all the supplies.. i think it would be the best option to make them realize their devilish conspiracy to disturb our peace…

    • swaroop says:

      Imran what all the things u ll boycott…using ur own infrastructure as its been developed using the US aid or the militrary hardware as it too came out frm US aid or the internet which is basically a West’s propritery or the lucrative offers which u get frm US companies…..
      So jst ignore these stupid stuffs rather than burning ur own intrest in it without any favourable output.

    • jade says:

      agree. Maybe we should stop using the internet , because most of it runs on hardware manufactured by companies in the USA !!

  22. G.A. says:

    I don’t think banning it would matter. Judging from the pictures it doesn’t seem like the fist-waving, feet-stomping, frothing-at-the-mouth kind of a crowd would even know what YouTube is.

  23. mc duffy says:

    indian, malaysian and indonesian countries have an agreement with google to selectively block certain videos on youtube in their country. As usual our sweet govt was sleeping. when they requested youtube to remove the video youtube refused but blocked links to the video in the aforementioned countries. so pakistan ultimately banned youtube as a whole.

  24. ali khan says:

    who is responsible for this in Pakistan

  25. hafeez says:

    i donot know whats the big deal. this movie is a provocation, and we must not show our beastly nature in responding with voilanace. Islam is the religion of peace and muslims must ignore this kinds of rubbish.
    Calm down and show how big heart we have.

    • Sam Rodrigues says:

      i wish everyone had this level of maturity AND real understanding of the religion/prophet they claim to follow. on Facebook on Facebook