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Google blocks access to anti-Islam film in protesting countries

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Google has begun barring access in Malaysia to an anti-Islamic film that has sparked fury across the Muslim world. (AFP, Joel Saget)

An anti-Islamic film that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world has now been banned in Malaysia, upon the request of local Internet regulators -- following blocks in several other predominately Muslim countries.

The low-budget movie, entitled "Innocence of Muslims," has angered followers of Islam for its mocking of the Prophet Mohammed, and for portraying Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent, according to a report on AFP.

"When videos breach those rules, we remove them. Where we have launched YouTube locally and we are notified that a video is illegal in that country, we will restrict access to it after a thorough review," a spokesman for Google, which owns video site YouTube, told AFP on Monday.

The site began restricting access to clips of the privately-produced film Sunday, in line with its community guidelines, according to the report.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was reported to have asked Google Saturday to remove clips of the controversial film, AFP reported, which is believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians in the United States, from YouTube.

Some extracts of it were still available on the video-sharing website on Monday but several other clips had been blocked to users in the Muslim-majority country.

Google has also denied access to the videos in Indonesia, Libya, Egypt and India.

For more on this story, see the full report on AFP.

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