News / Asia

    Indonesia Moves to Block Anti-Islamic Film

    An Afghan woman browses the YouTube website at a public internet cafe in Kabul. Like Afghanistan, Indonesia seeks to ban the YouTube website showing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad, Sept. 12, 2012.An Afghan woman browses the YouTube website at a public internet cafe in Kabul. Like Afghanistan, Indonesia seeks to ban the YouTube website showing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad, Sept. 12, 2012.
    x
    An Afghan woman browses the YouTube website at a public internet cafe in Kabul. Like Afghanistan, Indonesia seeks to ban the YouTube website showing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad, Sept. 12, 2012.
    An Afghan woman browses the YouTube website at a public internet cafe in Kabul. Like Afghanistan, Indonesia seeks to ban the YouTube website showing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad, Sept. 12, 2012.
    Kate Lamb
    After a controversial anti-Islamic film sparked deadly protests in Libya and Cairo, Indonesia has called on YouTube to block the film’s trailer in the world’s most populous Muslim country. 
     
    The provocative scenes in trailer for the U.S.-produced film, the Innocence of Muslims, are being seen as a possible catalyst for the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and violent protests in Egypt.
     
    "Innocence of Muslims" Movie
    • Excerpts of the film were posted on YouTube in English and Arabic
    • The film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a caricature
    • Reportedly financed by expatriate members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority group
    • Promoted by Florida-based Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who burned a Quran in his church
    Indonesian Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Thursday that he has asked YouTube and Google to block access to film, which he calls "a thriller", as soon as possible. 

    “Today in the morning I got the report from my staff and also I read in social media… So I asked to my staff to find it there in the Internet so we already coordinate with YouTube and Google also to block that thriller,” he stated.
     
    Minister Sembiring says he is confident the request will be granted.
     
    YouTube recently agreed to block access of allegedly blasphemous footage involving a candidate in the Jakarta governor.  The removal took just two hours.
     
    In recent years the government has worked hard to crack down on militant Islamic groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah, the group behind the 2002 Bali bombing, but several fringe radical groups remain. 
     
    Last week, police identified explosives and other bomb ingredients following an explosion at a house in West Jakarta.
     
    And about 100 Islamic extremists rallied outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta this week to praise the 9/11 hijackers.
     
    Sembiring said it is necessary to block the 14-minute anti-Islamic video trailer to prevent tensions from rising further. 

    “As you know, there was the ambassador of the United States in Libya killed and also four staff for the United States, I think this is very sensitive. I think also related to this thriller, so just for the anticipation for the situation... So we try to anticipation, preventative action, before the tension, become, go up,” Sembiring said.
     
    More than 90 percent of Indonesia’s 240 million people are Muslim.  Most are decidedly moderate.
     
    On Wednesday, YouTube had blocked users in Libya and Egypt from watching the video, but kept the video on its website. The site said in a statement that the video is “clearly within our guidelines” but “given the difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”
     
    As of Thursday afternoon in Indonesia, footage of the film had not been blocked in Jakarta.

    Photo Gallery: Anti-US Protests in Middle East

    • Yemeni protestors break a door of the U.S. Embassy during a protest about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammed, Sana'a, Yemen, September 13, 2012.
    • Yemenis protest in front of the U.S. Embassy during a protest about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammed, Sana'a, September 13, 2012.
    • Egyptian protesters burn tires as they clash with riot police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, September 13, 2012.
    • An Egyptian protester throws back a tear gas canister toward riot police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 13, 2012.
    • A policeman stands in front of a police car set on fire by protesters in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, during clashes between protesters and police, September 13, 2012.
    • White House staff are pictured after they lowered the U.S. flag to half staff on the roof of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2012, following the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
    • President Barack Obama delivers a statement with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2012
    • A burnt car is parked at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen, in Benghazi, Libya, September 12, 2012.
    • An exterior view of the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi September 12, 2012.
    • An interior view of the damage at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi, Libya, September 12, 2012.
    • Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed along with three of his staff on September 11, 2012 during a demonstration at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  This photo was taken at his home in Tripoli, June 28, 2012.
    • A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012.
    • An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, late on September 11, 2012.
    • U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in flames during protest, September 11, 2012

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora