I received an emailed press release today from Dr. Terry Jones, who I’ve interviewed in the past about his anti-Muslim sentiments. For those who don’t know him, he is the controversial pastor from the U.S. state of Florida who helped promote the anti-Islamic video, Innocence of Muslims, which was posted on YouTube and caused a wave of angry protests across the Muslim world and death threats for the actors who claimed not to know what kind of film they were acting.
Dr. Jones is fuming; it seems that a California appeals court ordered that YouTube remove the video. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated a lawsuit filed against YouTube by Cindy Lee Garcia (pictured above), an actress who appeared briefly in the 2012 video. She says she thought she was appearing in a film called “Desert Warrior,” and had she known it was a propaganda film that portrayed Muslims in a derogatory light, she would never have taken the job.
YouTube has until now refused to remove the video from its website, arguing that it would violate the company’s rights and protections of free speech. YouTube also argued that because the makers of the film — not Ms. Garcia — own the rights to the film, they should be the ones to take down the video.
In his press release today, Dr. Jones exercised his own right to free speech:
“This is another example of the long arm of Islam and our spineless society that continues to bow to it,” he said.
He says his rights are being violated, calling the court’s decision “a gross violation of our First Amendment rights.”
Google Inc., which owns YouTube, removed the video, but the company isn’t happy about having been forced to do so. It says it will appeal the ruling to a bigger court–and if all else fails, will go as high as the U.S. Supreme Court to try the case.