Google Ordered to Remove Anti-Muslim Video from YouTube

Posted February 28th, 2014 at 2:56 pm (UTC+0)

Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in an anti-Islam movie that has spawned violent protests across the Muslim world, attends a news conference after a court hearing in Los AngelesI 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.

Paster Terry Jones, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 in New York.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Pastor Terry Jones, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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.



Cecily Hilleary
Cecily began her reporting career in the 1990s, covering US Middle East policy for an English-language network in the UAE. She has lived and/or worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf, consulting and producing for several regional radio and television networks and production houses, including MBC, Al-Arabiya, the former Emirates Media Incorporated and Al-Ikhbaria. She brings to VOA a keen understanding of global social, cultural and political issues.

4 responses to “Google Ordered to Remove Anti-Muslim Video from YouTube”

  1. mohammad says:

    praise allah

    • Cecily Hilleary Cecily Hilleary says:

      Thanks for your comment, Mohammad, and for checking out the blog!

    • Brian says:

      Wow, just another example of radical takeover by terrorists! And I will NEVER bow down to a false god named Allah!!!

      • Cecily Hilleary Cecily Hilleary says:

        Brian, in blogging about freedom of speech, I feel the onus is on me to practice what I preach and publish even negative comments. I very nearly hit the “publish” button on your comment, ” Wow, just another example of radical takeover by terrorists! And I will NEVER bow down to a false god named Allah!!!”

        And then, I paused. It’s one thing to trash the terrorists–it’s quite another to trash the religion of millions of good, God-fearing faithful, whatever the religion. By the way, the word “Allah” is simply the Arabic term for “God.” The one God. The same God of the Jews and the Christians. It’s a sad fact that among millions of Muslims across the world, some choose an extreme path of violence to make political points. They are criminals of the worst order.

        If you would care to re-comment and omit hate speech against the religion, I would be happy to publish.


About rePRESSEDed

VOA reporter Cecily Hilleary monitors the state of free expression and free speech around the world.



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