A JUDGE in Brazil has ordered YouTube to remove clips of the movie that has touched off deadly protests across the Muslim world, the court says in a statement.
Judge Gilson Delgado Miranda gave the video-sharing site ten days to remove videos of the film, Innocence of Muslims. After that, YouTube’s parent company, Google, will face fines of $US5000 ($A4800) a day for every day the clips remain accessible in Brazil, according to the statement posted on the court’s website.
The lawsuit was filed by a group representing Brazil’s Muslim community, the National Union of Islamic Entities, which claims the film violates Brazil’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom for all faiths.
In a statement on the group’s website, Mohamad al Bukai, the head of religious matters for the Sao Paulo-based organisation, hailed the ruling as a victory.
“Freedom of expression must not be confused with giving disproportionate and irresponsible offence, which can provoke serious consequences for society,” al Bukai said.
The statement also includes excerpts from the ruling, in which the judge stresses “this type of jurisprudence cannot be confused with censorship,” which he defines as “the undue restriction of the civic consciousness.”
Courts or officials in other countries also have sought to restrict access to clips of Innocence of Muslims, renewing the debate over freedom of expression in the Middle East, the United States and Europe.
The film’s portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womaniser and a child molester, has enraged many Muslims. At least 51 people, including the US ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the film.
The Sao Paulo court’s ruling came on the same day that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addressed the United Nations and urged an end to prejudice against Muslims.
Google did not respond to requests for comment about the Innocence of Muslims case.