Skip to main content

Indonesia blocks YouTube to protest Islam film

  • Story Highlights
  • Indonesia temporarily bans YouTube to block video many say is anti-Islamic
  • Govt. asks YouTube to remove "Fitna," by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders
  • Film, which juxtaposes terrorism and verses from the Quran, has sparked protests
  • Last week students broke into Dutch consulate compound in Jakarta to demonstrate
  • Next Article in World »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has temporarily banned YouTube to block access to a video that many Muslims consider anti-Islamic.

Protesters demonstrate against an anti-Islamic film in front of the Dutch embassy in Jakarta.

Indonesia's Communications and Information Minister sent a letter to all Internet providers ordering them to block the video-sharing Web site until further notice, a ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

The minister has asked YouTube to remove the 15-minute movie "Fitna," but has not received a reply from the company, the spokesman said.

"Fitna," which is the work of Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, features disturbing images of terrorist acts juxtaposed over verses from the Quran to paint Islam as a threat to Western society.

It has been posted on several Web sites, including Google Video and YouTube.

Last week, about 50 Indonesia students broke into a Dutch consulate compound to protest the movie. They tore off the gate of the embassy in the city of Medan and ripped down a flag, said a Dutch Embassy spokeswoman.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkanende has said his government is worried that Geert Wilders' film could provoke a violent backlash.

The film has also prompted protests in other parts of the Muslim world.

Soon after its release last month, hundreds of angry Muslims rallied in Pakistan, where the government temporarily blocked access to YouTube because of a trailer for Wilders' film. The protesters burned the Dutch flag and called on Pakistan to cut ties with the Netherlands.

The Dutch government and others, including the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, have rejected the film.

Don't Miss

The OIC has 57 member states across four continents and claims on its Web site to be the second largest inter-governmental organization, after the United Nations. In its statement, it urged the international community to condemn the showing of the film and asked the Dutch government to prosecute the author of the documentary under Dutch law.

But Wilders has stood by his project.

"My intention was not to offend in any way, but to show the truth -- at least the truth as I see it," Wilders told CNN. "And if the truth hurts and could be offensive, well, this of course is not my problem." Video Watch interview with Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilder. »

Wilders is a member of the Dutch parliament from the conservative Party for Freedom and an outspoken critic of Islam. He said he has "big problems" with Islam's Prophet Mohammed, the Quran and "everything that is stated inside this terrible book."

The title, "Fitna," translates in Arabic to "strife" or "conflict" of the type that occurs within families or any other homogenous group.

The film opens with passages from the Quran, interspersed with graphic images of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States .

The video also includes disturbing images of other terror attacks -- bloodied victims; beheadings of hostages; executions of women in hijab, the traditional Muslim attire; and footage, with subtitles, of Islamic leaders preaching inflammatory sermons against Jews and Christians. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Kathy Quiano in Jakarta contributed to this report

All About YouTube Inc.IndonesiaIslamNetherlands

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print