White House tries to stifle Free Speech, Google says “no way”
Americans are known to be very defiant when in the face of censorship. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year old Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California, has started a firestorm in the Muslim world with his short film depicting a heavy anti-Islam slant, and now has the backing of Google.
White House officials have asked the media giant to pull the video, in light of the sensitive situations occurring in Egypt and Libya. Google has flatly refused on the grounds that the video is within YouTube guidelines, but noted that it has already taken strict measures to restrict access to viewing in countries which are primarily Muslim or where civil unrest is likely. At last check, India, Indonesia, Egypt and Libya were the only places where such viewing is prohibited.
Whether or not this is directly related to the mob attacks in Benghazi last Tuesday, which claimed the lives of four individuals, including U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens, is yet to be known. But it surely played a part and Google has said it has taken action based on local law rather than political pressure. The film’s key figure and director has not commented on the worldwide political unrest or his film, “Innocence of Muslims” status with the White House. He is currently in a location unaware to media officials, after turning himself into a Cerritos, Calif., Los Angeles County police station on charges unrelated to the film.