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Court Orders Google to Remove Anti-Islam Film From YouTube

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ordered Google to remove from its YouTube video-sharing website an anti-Islamic film that had sparked protests across the Muslim world.

By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected Google's assertion that the removal of the film "Innocence of Muslims," amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, had objected to the film after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie, which had been partially dubbed and in which she appeared to be asking: "Is your Mohammed a child molester?"

Representatives for Google could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Garcia, said she is delighted with the decision.

"Ordering YouTube and Google to take down the film was the right thing to do," Armenta said in an email. "The propaganda film differs so radically from anything that Ms. Garcia could have imagined when the director told her that she was being cast in the innocent adventure film."

The controversial film, billed as a trailer, depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a fool and a sexual deviant. It sparked a torrent of anti-American unrest among Muslims in Egypt, Libya and other countries in 2012.

That outbreak coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is considered blasphemous.

— Reuters