The Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) has said today that it is working to block the trailer of a film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ from being viewed in the Maldives.
The controversial film has been at the centre of perceived anti-American protests across the world. International media has reported that in certain cases, these protests have descended into violence, resulting in the deaths of a number of US nationals at certain embassies in Africa and the Middle East.
Addressing the availability of the trailer in the Maldives, CAM Chief Executive Ilyas Ahmed has said that the usual course of action in dealing with cases of offensive on-line content in the country was to block an entire website found to be hosting the material. However, since the trailer in this case was hosted on public video-sharing website YouTube, Ilyas said he was trying to find a way to block the video alone.
“Since YouTube is a popular site used by many people, it is not practical to block it. So instead of blocking YouTube, we are instead talking to Google first and trying to have this trailer alone blocked,” has was reported as telling local media.
Ilyas stated that this is the first time in the Maldives that content was being sought to be blocked in this manner. He added that the CAM had taken up the work after receiving a formal written request from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The ministry had previously released a statement on Thursday (September 13) which called on people to show restraint, while condemning the movie.
Meanwhile, Adhaalath Party, the religious conservative party to which Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed belongs to also released a press statement the same day. In the release, the party stated that the objective behind people being offensive to Islam was to drive millions of Muslims over the world to create unrest and do wrong.
The statement also asked protesters to refrain from causing harm to innocent people and damaging government or public property.
Crowds of people protested against the offensive movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ in front of the UN Building on Friday.
Minister of Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed was not responding to calls at the time of press.