YouTube to be banned in Dubai?

Believe it or not, YouTube is going to be banned in Dubai, and UAE. The Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, Lt Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, is of opinion that YouTube ‘incites hatred’ and, therefore, should be banned from computers.

Dubai Police Chief has launched a campaign during which he called upon Etisalat to ban YouTube, the site ranked top 10 in most popular sites in the UAE.

Tamim said that the website contained videos that ‘sparked dissension’, especially on religious belief. “Publishing pornographic material and defamatory ideas is not freedom”.

Khaleej Times quote Mohammed Okour, spokesman for Etisalat, said that the company had received no request from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which determines whether or not a website should be banned in the UAE.

In 2006 YouTube removed videos from right-wing activists such as Michelle Malkin, who posted several videos defaming Islam. A film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, which criticises Islam, is banned in the UAE through conventional websites. However, it still available on YouTube.

On Sunday, Bangladesh became the latest country to impose a block on YouTube after a 40-minute discussion between the Prime Minister and senior generals was posted online. Earlier, in February 2008, the Pakistani government blocked the video-sharing site, because it republished cartoons blasphemous to Islam. Last April, Indonesian officials temporarily blocked YouTube for carrying the film, but restored service a week later.