A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ordered Google Inc to remove from its YouTube video-sharing website an anti-Islamic film that had sparked protests across the Muslim world.
By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Google’s assertion that the removal of the film “Innocence of Muslims” amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution.
This order is a violation of the right to free speech and it is censorship. Just because someone does not agree with the content of the video does not make it permissible to block it, remove it, or edit it. Yet we see with this case lead to further erosion of the freedoms and rights of American citizens.
In a statement, Google said: “We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it.”
The controversial film, billed as a film trailer, exposed Mohammed the founder of Islam and their Prophet as a fool and a sexual deviant. It was blamed for anti-American unrest among Muslims in Egypt, Libya and other countries in 2012, Obama wrongfully blamed this video for the murders of embassy workers in Libya over terrorist acts at two U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya..
For many Muslims, any depiction of their prophet is considered blasphemous to Islam, a barbaric 5th century religion founded by a warlord that did many questionable things to grow his religion.
Google refused to remove the film from YouTube, despite pressure from the Obama, the White House and others, though it censored the trailer in Egypt, Libya and certain other countries. Now it will be censored in the USA as well.
In a pre-Obama USA our laws permitted even the vilest criticisms of governments, political leaders, and religious figures as legitimate exercises in free speech, but Obama promised change and this is one of those changes were are seeing.
A lower court had earlier refused the request that Google remove the film from YouTube, but today sadly we all sit in horror as we see yet another case take away the freedom of American citizens. The case is Garcia vs. Google Inc et al., 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-57302.