YouTube will not be unblocked anytime soon: Report

Published: October 1, 2012

The Government of Pakistan had blocked the popular video-sharing website almost three weeks back.

Popular video-sharing website YouTube will not be unblocked anytime soon, says a report by ProPakistani.com.

In an interview with ProPakistani, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Ministry of Information and Technology officials were determined not to unblock YouTube unless Google decides to take the anti-Islam video offline – internationally or at least in Pakistan – since the decision was covered by a court order.

YouTube, owned by IT giant Google, had been blocked in Pakistan after the release of an anti-Islam film’s trailer on the site. The site had been blocked in other countries including Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Despite requests by the Pakistani government and concerned authorities to block the video or pull it down, Google did not comply and the video-sharing site has been blocked for almost three weeks now.

However, Google had blocked the video in Malaysia, Indonesia, Libya, Egypt and India.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a PTA official said that that procedures were initiated to get the video blocked in Pakistan, but YouTube did not respond as Pakistan has no legal control over the company.

Responding to a question regarding whether MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) – an agreement between two countries for gathering, exchanging and enforcing public and criminal laws – was an obstacle in the issue because Pakistan had not signed MLAT with USA, the PTA officials explained that USA does not have MLAT with either Libya, Indonesia or Singapore too, but Google had blocked the video due to US government pressure or on-ground offices in those states.

PTA officials added that countries, where Google has its physical presence or has infrastructure (datacenters) in place, were in a better position to get the video blocked.

“Unlike Google, Facebook had removed the blasphemous content from its website for users in Pakistan and was hence unblocked after two weeks in 2010. Google, however, has decided otherwise and this is why it will remain blocked until it acts,” the official said.

PTA officials cautioned that if Google wanted to retain its customers in Pakistan, then it will have to act sensibly and comply with the government’s request.

An IT ministry official said that the prime minister would not order the restoration of YouTube until the anti-Islam video was blocked in Pakistan as well.

The ban has disrupted other Google services as well, causing serious issues for individuals and businesses in the country.

Android, Google’s mobile operating system, has been affected so much so that almost no service, including Gmail, Maps, Contact Sync, Play Store, was functional, making all Android devices almost useless.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Kaleem
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:00PM

    Please unblock Google docs for a day or so, need to take backups, will never violate PTA rules by using Google again.

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  • Javed Afridi
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:12PM

    Google services including Youtube is not worth the price it’s asking for. Keep it this way – from a chronic user of Google and its products :(Recommend

  • MAD
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:20PM

    Okay block Youtube but why in the world is the Playstore blocked. even Google Maps is blocked

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  • Anthony Permal
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:24PM

    Dear PTA, how come you never thought of banning Youtube when the other prophets you revere apart from Muhammad were blasphemed on the site? Don’t you hold Jesus and Moses sacred? Then how come you turned a blind eye?

    This proves you are selective and that this has nothing to do with faith but with the fanatical attitudes of certain people in the government.

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  • Canya
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Android, Google’s mobile operating system, has been affected so much so that almost no service, including Gmail, Maps, Contact Sync, Play Store, was functional, making all Android devices almost useless.

    I use an Andriod phone and everything including google maps, gmail, market place, etc is working perfectly fine on it.

    ET please get your facts right before publishing!

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  • Afzaal Khan
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:49PM

    All google has to do what it has done for other countries, Pakistan is not asking anything special just asking that the video be blocked for pakistan, why google has such problem?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Oct 1, 2012 - 4:56PM

    I am glad that PTA are insisting on keeping up the pressure on Google. Google is such a hypocritical company, They have no problem removing videos about holocaust denial because some jewish organizations file complaints to them, but when it comes to islamophobic hate movies, they just ignore their own rules. Infact all of google’s services should be blocked, Muslims should not be so heavily dependent on companies that do not even respect their beliefs.

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  • Oct 1, 2012 - 5:08PM

    The PTA can get around this problem by retroactively banning the specific address at which the anti-Mohammad youtube video is. Banning all of Youtube is a step too far, and harms more Pakistanis than it helps.

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  • sana
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:09PM

    I think government should block http://www.google.com (its search engine ) as well and recommend users to switch to other email systems. Google is just acting childish.

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  • Afzaal Khan
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @Anthony Permal

    You can file a petition to request a ban no one stopping you. Do remember it was done under court order, so feel free to approach the court, no one stopping you.

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  • honest
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:57PM

    @sana:
    banning google is just like skipping daily meal….just imagine not having google for search…….!!!!!!!!!
    do not be so so so over reactive….why dont you just stay away from obnoxious material yourself….Does’nt Islam teach self control………????
    if you are fasting then that does not mean burning the wheat storage……….!!!! if you can understand what i mean……

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  • R2D2
    Oct 1, 2012 - 6:18PM

    oh yeah, google must be so stressed about having been blocked in state of pakistanRecommend

  • Abu Hamza
    Oct 1, 2012 - 6:22PM

    @Anthony Permal:
    if PTA called to remove those videos… even then you wouldn’t be happy with the muslims… your people and your kind would actually tell the Muslims that they are your Prophets too.. what right do Muslims have over your religion….. so tell me…. what should the Muslims do to make you happy? bow down and believe in your trinity? NEVER!

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  • Mj
    Oct 1, 2012 - 6:26PM

    @Ahmed:
    Don’t make up facts. No video on holocaust denial has been removed.

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  • Tayub
    Oct 1, 2012 - 6:41PM

    @Canya:
    On whIch network?

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  • Abdul Rehman (@AbdulRehmanSays)
    Oct 1, 2012 - 7:55PM

    @Canya:
    can u download apps from Google Play?? U can open it but cant download/update apps!

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  • Vikas
    Oct 1, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Block internet. na rahega baas, na bajegi basuri

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  • afzaalkhan
    Oct 1, 2012 - 9:00PM

    @honest

    You seriously telling me without google internet would shut down? Yahoo, bing just to name 2 LOL

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  • Sheroz Sanober
    Oct 1, 2012 - 9:08PM

    I am glad that PTA took this decision. Now stand firm on it and do not unblock YouTube until Google remove this video. Why such disparity … when they have removed this video in Singapore , Libya , Indonesia , India etc… why not in Pakistan. This should remain banned.

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  • Oct 1, 2012 - 9:09PM

    @Mj

    This is for you: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4183414,00.html

    YouTube deletes Shoah denial cartoons
    Following protests from Simon Wiesenthal Center, video sharing website removes series of 10 animated anti-Semitic clips which mock six million victims of World War II Nazi genocide

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  • Sheroz Sanober
    Oct 1, 2012 - 9:19PM

    YouTube should remain banned till they take it seriously and remove blasphemous video. Why this disparity when this can be removed in Libya, Singapore , Indonesia , India …….. why not in Pakistan ????

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  • Umer
    Oct 1, 2012 - 9:51PM

    @Afzaal Khan:

    You can file a petition to request a ban no one stopping you. Do remember it was done under court order, so feel free to approach the court, no one stopping you.

    Why haven’t YOU filed that petition? Don’t you revere those prophet? That is the hypocrisy that Anthony Permal has pointed out. This proves that PTA’s move is political not religious.

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  • plz
    Oct 1, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Plz youtube/google make the video unavailable in Pakistan, we don’t want to watch it anyway, I just want my youtube back.

    P.S. Stupid pseudo-moulvis…

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  • Oct 1, 2012 - 10:47PM

    The work is really effected and I am using other mediums to access slowed Google in Pakistan. Make it hard on YouTube not on other Google services !!

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  • Hmz
    Oct 1, 2012 - 10:59PM

    @Canya:
    I myself have an android along with 5 other android phones within my family and many other with my friends too and google’s any of the services are not working for all of us here in karachi….. its a fact so you get your facts right before trolling around

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  • gp65
    Oct 2, 2012 - 5:22AM

    @Ahmed: “They have no problem removing videos about holocaust denial because some jewish organizations file complaints to them,”

    False. Just repeating the same lie over and over again will not make it true. If you type Holocaust lies in youtube, you will get as many holocaust denial videos as you want.

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  • concerned citizen
    Oct 2, 2012 - 8:32AM

    can’t even implement the block right; a dozen other google services are blocked too like google analytics, google images etc. .. argh!

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  • Canya
    Oct 2, 2012 - 9:08AM

    @ Tayyab: On Ufone!

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  • Canya
    Oct 2, 2012 - 9:10AM

    @Hmz: My Andriod (and so is my family’s) has google maps, gmail, market place, etc all working… that’s what my fact is based on!

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  • gggg
    Oct 2, 2012 - 9:13AM

    open youtubeRecommend

  • Oct 2, 2012 - 11:08AM

    @R2D2:

    oh yeah, google must be so stressed
    about having been blocked in state of
    pakistan

    Google sees Pakistan as a $500 million ad market. I’d say they’re a little stressed.

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  • Oct 2, 2012 - 11:08AM

    We should give the opportunity to locals, they can do better than google if govt supports .. We can do any thing only we lack of funds

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  • Afzaal Khan
    Oct 2, 2012 - 11:25AM

    @Umer

    PTA was ordered by court so stop spreading disinformation. Second like another commentator pointed out if we do that then we get accused of interfering in other people religions, by all means anyone who have any issue feel free to approach the court and file a petition. Better yet why don’t YOU file a petition invoking freedom of speech and pointing out “hypocrisy and political expediency” of PTA?

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  • Kaleem
    Oct 2, 2012 - 12:39PM

    @Ahmed who says “Infact all of google’s services should be blocked, Muslims should not be so heavily dependent on companies that do not even respect their beliefs.”

    Oh boy, Why we have such fragile ego. These corporates have no religious whatsoever.

    Can you delete your gmail account right now and stop using your android phone because the OS is owned by Google? Why couldnt we develop iphones and Androids in first place?Recommend

  • David (NOT!)
    Oct 2, 2012 - 2:53PM

    @Anthony and @Umer: All the prophets are sacred to Muslims. Any practicing muslim would be offended by insults to other prophets. But there are two things you have to take into account. Firstly, offensive material against other prophets is unfortunately made by/depicted in the forums of people who have a greater claim over those prophets. However, and secondly, when it comes to the Prophet, the matter is a lot more personal. Muslims believe that the Prophet is the highest acclaimed being in God’s eyes and therefore, any offense to the Prophet is considered to offend God as well. And since muslims believe they are the representatives of God on earth, it is their responsibility to voice their grievances.

    @All muslim commentators: It is time all of you started assuming that the audience on all ET publications are non-muslims. So speak objectively, through neutrality, avoid references to the self and refer to nothing but objective, veritable facts.

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  • Oct 2, 2012 - 6:42PM

    Electricity should be banned in Pakistan also as its from jinns…

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  • gp65
    Oct 2, 2012 - 7:30PM

    @aryzha: “Google sees Pakistan as a $500 million ad market. I’d say they’re a little stressed.”

    The initial headline was acknowledged as an error. $500 million is the total ad market in Pakistan which includes newspapers, TV, radio , outdoors and digital. The actual digital advertising in Pakistan is $5 million of which google would have a small share. So R2D2 is correct – not much impact on google by Pakistan blocking youtube.

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  • Umer
    Oct 2, 2012 - 9:44PM

    @Afzaal Khan:

    Second like another commentator pointed out if we do that then we get accused of interfering in other people religions,

    You are always interfering in other peoples’ religion by blasphemy law and other discriminatory laws in Pakistan. Nothing has stopped you before from interfering in other people’s religion why stop now? The reasons are political, no religious.

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  • Umer
    Oct 2, 2012 - 9:49PM

    @David (NOT!):

    You can yourself burn churches, bibles and Christians but will not stand up when Jesus is insulted by anyone else. Oh, no that would be interfering in Christians’ religion. What a load of rubbish.

    A lot of time it’s you who are insulting Jesus by burning bibles, churches and Jesus’s followers. No hoo haa on that. Very understandable. This is political oppression of others disguised as religion.

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  • Kamran
    Oct 3, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @Anthony Permal: Your community should have protested through out the world like Muslims did. Millions of Muslims protested through out the world from social media to print media, from electronic media to roads, everywhere. We are informed that various Hollywood movies make fun of Jesus and the american public (which mostly comprised of Christians) DO enjoy a lot the same. So problem is not with PTA. Even mother doest not give milk to its infants until he/she cries. Please think.

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  • Oct 3, 2012 - 11:55AM

    i love muhammad [p b u h]Recommend

  • Afzaal Khan
    Oct 3, 2012 - 3:52PM

    @Umer

    Laughable point about muslims interfering in other person’s religion and using blasphemy law as evidence. By definition blasphemy law comes when someone ridicule or insult our religion. Simple put mate, google has in its power to block the video for pakistan, its not an unreasonable request, where was google’s freedom of speech when it agreed to filter the content for china among other countries.

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  • Oct 3, 2012 - 8:13PM

    hey my name is saud.please unblock the youtube.okRecommend

  • hira
    Oct 3, 2012 - 10:53PM

    the truth is we as muslims have failed miserably , and thats the sole reason why things like these happen to us. do you really think that if the world knew who our Prophet (pbuh) really was and what he stood for that they would still insult him? no. No one can hate muhammad (pbuh) if they know him. and whose duty is it to tell the non muslims about our religion? its our duty. and tell me something how many of us are actually living our lives the way our beloved prophet(pbuh) asked us to? isnt that an insult to him too? you and me being muslims, we say we love our prophet (pbuh) but we so blatantly refuse things that he asked us to do then how can you expect non muslims or ignorant people who know nothing of our religion or our prohet (pbuh) to do any better?
    and coming to these services, google and youtube, these are platforms. if they dont listen to you use their sources to prove your point. what good has blocking youtube done, han? dont you think that youtube has helped dpread the message of islam also. there are sooo many channels so many people so many scholars muslims who use this very portal to spread their message or to teach people about islam. same goes for google. instead of shutting yourself out use these things to your benefit.

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  • Oct 3, 2012 - 11:00PM

    plz plz plz plz plz plz
    plz unblock youtubeRecommend

  • Malik Waseem
    Oct 4, 2012 - 3:06PM

    But youtube is working here in Topi District Sawaabi at GIK Institute, without any problem, I don’t know why?

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  • Malik
    Oct 4, 2012 - 3:09PM

    but Youtube is working here in GIK Institute Topi District Sawabi without any problem. I don’t know why.

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  • Malik
    Oct 4, 2012 - 3:11PM

    But youtube is still working in GIK Institute Topi district Sawabi.

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  • Tanjila
    Oct 4, 2012 - 7:21PM

    i’m a muslim too. I know how sacred our religion is. No matter what happens, we won’t detar from our path of truth. That video is enough proof how insecure the director really is. He’s scared of our unity, our faith. So he tried to create a mishap. And i’ll say, he kinda succeeded. Rather than sticking together and praying, we just resorted to violence, the result is now we’re deprived of our daily internet services. If we were true muslims, we’d have acted like brothers and sisters would do. We’d have personally filtered youtube through our own browser even before the govt had to act. We could have done so much more, but the muslim countries are just drifting apart and getting a step behing the world because of blasphams vdo creted by some mentally handicapped man. If we had enougj faith on Allah swt, we’d have prayed for our eyes and hearts to be safe from such videos.
    Funny thing is, you can access every single porn site, every single site against islam, every controvertial article online. But not google drive, even when your future depends on one shared document.

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  • Asad Malik
    Oct 6, 2012 - 2:04AM

    @Anthony Permal:

    Dear Anthony

    Islam a religious doctrine and Holy Book Quran which befalled on Holy Prophet Muhmmad (p.b.u.h).It was his duty to spread Islam and relay the message of Allah(God) to all the humanity.We as followers of Islam are duty bound to protect our faith and our redeemer Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) who taught us this religion..Prophet Jesus taught Christians the word of god. Christians were duty bound to protect the Teachings(which have been defected by quadruples of testaments, all the Kings of their time made additions as they deemed fit for their personal gains.Even christians themselves make fun of their own prophet and commit sacrilege by painting his pictures and statues and defaming the great prophet by all means necessary.We are committed to protecting our religion and our Prophet,though we have high regards for all our Prophets,but as Christianity is now infected we cannot follow your book,you are not pointing the fact that you failed to protect the Holy Book and the esteem of your prophet.Same goes with the jews,Prophet Moses and the Holy book torah. Holy Quran is the only Holy Book God promised to remain as it is till the End of times. Quran is safe in the hearts and brain of muslims all around the world.There is no way it can be corrupted by likes of miscreants..

    I suggest you check your own collar before ranting and admonishing us.You were supposed to protect your faith and Your prophet’s teachings;you filed miserable.We are trying to protect ours and we will do whatever possible.

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  • Aiza
    Oct 6, 2012 - 8:53PM

    This is totally unjust! One does not simply block Play Store as well! I mean blocking the video was necessary but this drama has been going on for way too long.Why is Pakistan being mistreated? The video was removed from other South Asian countries but not removing them from Pakistan is so aggravating! It has been two plus weeks that Android services have been cut off but people with the Apple devices are living high on life! Google is simply being childish and this nuisance should be dealt with as soon as possible.
    Google you have been a great mode of technology so far and we hope it stays that way and it will only be acceptable if you just unblock all the services as soon as possible! Thankyou :)

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  • Ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:50AM

    well i want to say if PTA call to whole Pakistan people find good computer master so they can do anything even google block or no video but they can do own of here becoues its not hard work now to stop some vidoes trow internet and transfer to other becoues in Pakistan many master mind people good telant have who can do better of others but they just show loser thing block simple whole web that is not sulation better find the way show to people Pakistan is also not less of other they can do anything

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  • umer
    Oct 18, 2012 - 4:45PM

    y almost all products of google r blockedRecommend

  • Oct 22, 2012 - 2:31PM

    asalam o alaikum…………no matter if youtube is blocked in pakistan……….plz if u want to take any action against youtube then please ……….unblock it from ultrasurf….i mean ultrasurf is the software from which it easily can bee see all youtube videos…………..plz take any action against ultrasurf

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  • AR
    Oct 23, 2012 - 12:25PM

    Our government should get the blasphemous video removed.

    Youtube should be unblocked right away since it has lots of useful educational stuff on it.

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  • Aieysha
    Oct 28, 2012 - 6:08PM

    I just wanted to say I agree with those few Muslim brothers and sisters who actually get it. The behaviour of those in defense of our Prophet PBUH was against all his teachings. For this I say shame on you, inshaAllah you’ve learned from this. I don’t see why all should be punished for the actions of those who acted poorly in this case.If you truly follow Islam then you would have known this guy who made the filthy film doesn’t deserve the attention he got. Did you do your research into this guy? He also helped in making a porn film some years back, he is just a filthy criminal. He doesn’t deserve a moment of anyones time. So now, many Google services are blocked including Youtube. Do you naysayers who think Youtube should be blocked because of this filthy film? Honestly, I wouldn’t agree. Many good sources of Dawah are now blocked due to this. I am so missing my Dawah Films updates. I am missing some good debates, lectures, and anasheeds. You are all missing this too. We need to get Youtube and other Google services back. We have now been without these services well over a month and it feels like much longer. Has it been worth it? If there is something on Youtube you don’t like, just ignore it, don’t give these people the agitation they are waiting for. They wanted to see Muslims gone wild and they got what they wanted.

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  • Oct 30, 2012 - 11:35PM

    ghghghghghhg

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  • Oct 30, 2012 - 11:38PM

    UNBLOCK YOUTOUBE!!!!!!!!!!

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  • salman
    Nov 2, 2012 - 10:53PM
  • usman
    Nov 6, 2012 - 2:11PM

    @sana:
    yes i also in this favorRecommend

  • Hamza
    Nov 19, 2012 - 7:00AM

    First of all to all you Muslims on this forum: You are ignorant.
    Yes I am a Muslim as well.
    I do not know why all of you people are making a big fuss over some guy posting videos about our prophet. Yes he was bestowed with the highest honors by God but that still does not make him a divine diety. Don’t you think that’s what the creators of the movie were aiming for to disorganize us. YouTube Is the biggest video sharing site on planet earth and by blocking we have caused more harm for ourselves than good. I say unblock YouTube so we can show the world that we are not shaken so easily by such petty insults.

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