Google has announced it will comply if Russia's courts ban the American anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” a company spokesman confirmed.
Google, which owns YouTube, on which the video was originally posted, said it would block Russian users’ access to the video as soon as it received a court order to that effect.
Murat Tagiyev, Chechnya’s Minister of National Policy, Press and Information, has warned that the film may cause “destabilization of the political situation in the region, most of whose population is Muslim.”
A Grozny court on Friday closed a preliminary examination of this issue with the conclusion that the video contained material that should not enjoy widespread distribution.
Mobile content providers in the North Caucasus republic limited access to YouTube on Thursday in response to this controversial video.
Protests against the film were reported yesterday in both the North Caucasus and in Ukraine’s Crimea republic, which is home to a minority Muslim Tatar population.
The film, which ridicules the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, has ignited violent protests across the Muslim world and has galvanized criticism of Western policy in the Middle East and North Africa.