Jordanian lawyers suing Google over anti-Islam video

Legal case centres on “Innocence of Muslims” film that sparked violent protests across Arab world in 2012
Jordanian lawyers suing Google over anti-Islam video
(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)
By Courtney Trenwith
Mon 03 Feb 2014 11:22 AM

Lawyers have appeared for the first time in months at a court hearing in Jordan against Internet company Google over an anti-Islamic film posted on video-sharing website YouTube, which sparked widespread violent protests across the Muslim world in 2012.

Three lawyers from Jordan Bar Association’s Freedom Committee are suing Google as the parent company of YouTube, which published a trailer of the film “Innocence of Muslims” in September 2012.

The film is considered blasphemous by Muslims as it depicts Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in a negative light.

Protests in response to the video began in Cairo on September 11, 2012 and flowed across the Arab world, including attacks on US embassies in Libya and Tunisia.

The film’s director, Alan Roberts, and producer, Nakoula Nakoula, are being tried in a court in Amman in absentia.

Lawyer Duaa Zyoud told the court on Sunday the video was easily available for download and did not contain any warning, The Jordan Times reported.

The lawyers claim the video violates article 18 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states: “No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.”

They had agreed to drop the court case, which was filed in February last year, if Google published an apology on its website for a week, admitting it had made a mistake.

But Google lawyer Thaer Najdawi said at the time that the lawyers suing the company misunderstood the concept of YouTube and Google did not advocate for the video or its message.

The case has been adjourned.

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