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Russian Court Bans Film Innocence of Muslims as Extremist

A Moscow district court outlawed an anti-Islamic film that has provoked violent protests across the Muslim world after labeling it “extremist.”

Moscow prosecutors asked the court to ban the “Innocence of Muslims” film because it aims to create a perception that Islam and Muslims are inferior, according to an e-mailed statement from General Prosecutor’s Office today.

The court order means distribution of the video will be banned in Russia. OAO Mobile TeleSystems (MBT), VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) and OAO MegaFon have already blocked access to the film after a request by the Prosecutor General’s Office last month.

The low-budget movie includes a fictional attack by Muslims on a Christian family, followed by an account of the origins of Islam depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer. The film, which the U.S. has described as “very offensive,” last month triggered violent demonstrations and attacks on U.S. and European targets in several Muslim countries.

U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three colleagues were killed in an attack in Benghazi, while Muslim protesters in Tunis and elsewhere died in clashes with government security forces. Google Inc. (GOOG)’s YouTube blocked access to the clip in Egypt and Libya following attacks on the U.S. missions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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