Protesters destroy an American flag at the US Embassy in Cairo during angry demonstrations against the film last September
An Egyptian court has ordered that the video-sharing website YouTube be blocked for one month, in the wake of the scandal surrounding a video that caused outrage in the Muslim world.
The verdict will force the closure of any website that allowed users access to The Innocence of Muslims, a crude anti-Islamic parody that offended Muslims by depicting the prophet Muhammad as a paedophile.
More than 75 people were killed and hundreds more injured in protests that broke out in Egypt on the anniversary of the 11 September attacks last year, and spread to other Muslim nations following the release of a 14-minute trailer lambasting the prophet's life.
In Libya, violent protests led to the storming of the US consulate in Benghazi, and the lynching of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens.
Egypt's administrative court ruled that access to Facebook and other sites must be shut down for a month, after a complaint by an Egyptian lawyer who accused YouTube executives of constituting a "threat to social peace" by making the film available.
"If we don't stop these videos, they will only appear with increasing frequency," said the complainant, Hamed Salem.
The movie is believed to have been written by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, using the pseudonym of "Sam Bacile", and was promoted by blogger Morris Sadek, an Egyptian whose citizenship had been revoked. Nakoula was forced to go into hiding in the US after the protests broke out, and was later placed under protective custody by US police.
A two-minute excerpt dubbed into Arabic was broadcast on 9 September on Egyptian TV network Al-Naz.
YouTube voluntarily blocked the video in Egypt and Libya. That block was later extended to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and Singapore, with YouTube owner Google citing "the very difficult situation" in those countries.
The governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sudan and Pakistani blocked access to YouTube when YouTube failed to remove the video.
The Obama administration asked YouTube to review the policies that allowed the clip to be hosted, but YouTube said the video fell within its guidelines as it was not considered "hate speech".
Last month, an Egyptian court sentenced US pastor Terry Jones to five years in prison in absentia for his role in promoting the film. Seven other Egyptians, all Coptic Christians, were sentenced to death for their involvement in the film.
The complainant Hamed Salem is himself a controversial figure in the Egyptian legal world, having initiated previous court actions demanding the withdrawal of citizenship from the sons of president Muhamed Mursi, and the banning of the Egyptian talkshow Egypt Today.
There was no immediate comment on the ruling from the Egyptian government in Cairo.
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