Russia may block YouTube over anti-Islam film

By the Associated Press | September 18, 2012 | 2:35 PM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian Cabinet minister says authorities will block access to YouTube if it refuses to take down an anti-Islam film that has sparked violence around the world.

Prosecutors have already asked a Moscow court to outlaw the "Innocence of Muslims" film as "extremist, and offending believers," and a verdict is expected soon.

Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov wrote on Twitter Tuesday that access to the online video sharing site will be blocked in Russia if its owner, Google, fails to abide by a court order banning the showing of the film that was produced in the U.S. and mocks Muslims and the prophet Muhammad.

The movie has triggered violent protests against U.S. embassies and other targets in the Middle East and beyond.

Russian authorities' moves reflect Kremlin fears that the film could foment unrest among Russian Muslims.