Indonesia restores access to YouTube Web site

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s Internet service providers have restored access to YouTube and other Web sites that carried a Dutch lawmaker’s film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence, an industry official said on Friday.

Muslim women shout slogans in front of a poster of Geert Wilders during a rally outside the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta April 1, 2008. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Isnawan, vice chairman of the Indonesian Internet Providers Association, said service providers would only block access to pages carrying the film by Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-immigration Freedom Party, which alternates images of the September 11, 2001 attacks and other Islamist bombings with quotations from the Koran.

The move followed protests by web users who said they were disadvantaged by the banning of several sites including YouTube, Multiply and My Space.

“We don’t need to block the sites but only links that broadcast the film. If the film is moved to another site, we will keep on chasing and block it,” Isnawan said.

The Web sites were fully blocked on Monday and Tuesday.

Titled “Fitna,” a Koranic term sometimes translated as “strife”, the film also shows an image of the Prophet Mohammad primed to explode and says the rising number of Muslims in Europe threatens democratic values.

Wilders’ film urges Muslims to tear out “hate-filled” verses from the Koran and starts and ends with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, accompanied by a ticking sound.

The film has sparked protests in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged his predominantly Muslim nation not to use violence in protests against the film.

The Dutch government has distanced itself from Wilders’ views, and the Dutch upper house of parliament has condemned what it called efforts to denigrate Islam and promote hatred.

Reporting by Mita Valina Liem, Editing by Sugita Katayal and Bill Tarrant