Sudan has ordered the blocking of access to the YouTube website to prevent people watching a film that insults Prophet Mohammad, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
YouTube owner Google Inc. has already blocked access to the film in Egypt, Libya, India and Indonesia after deadly protests in several countries, but it has rejected a request by the White House to pull it from the site altogether.
The film “Innocence of Muslims”, clips of which were posted on the Internet, portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a womaniser and has provoked an outcry among Muslims and triggered violent attacks on embassies across North Africa and the Middle East, Reuters reports.
The Sudanese government decided to block YouTube after failing to remove the film, Azz el-Din Kamel, head of the country’s telecommunications authority told Reuters.
“We sent a letter to Google on Saturday requesting to remove the film that insults Prophet Mohammed from YouTube but when we didn’t get any response we tried blocking the film,” he said.
“Since blocking the film faced some difficulties we were forced to block the entire YouTube website. This freeze will stay in place until the film gets blocked from the site,” he said.
Reuters in Khartoum was unable to open YouTube on Wednesday.
For many Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous and caricatures or other characterisations have in the past provoked protests across the Muslim world.