UPDATE 8p.m. EST : YouTube responded to Redstate’s request for comment saying the video had been reinstated on their site.
Youtube’s censorship rules have recently become more subjective as the digital encyclopedia attempts to squash “hate speech” and violent language. Conservative groups worried that the new YouTube rules would be influenced the same way Facebook trending news was, disproportionately ensnaring right-leaning or outright conservatives sites and stories.
YouTube seems intent on confirming those fears, as word from Dennis Prager’s “Prager University” site has it that YouTube has banned their newest video featuring a pro-Israel adcovate Muslim.
Kasim Hafeez was raised a devout Muslim in Israel. In his video for Prager University – titled “Born to Hate Jews”, Hafeez carefully explains how many devout Muslims like himself born in the West are being raised with complete and utter hatred for Israel. He says that even in western Muslim culture a common refrain is that Jews are inherently evil, and if they are it only makes sense that any nation or person that supports them is evil too. Any righteous and good man would would therefore be justified in working to kill, maim and destroy that “evil.” Hafeez then goes on to describe how his mind was changed and he eventually came to accept and love the Jewish people.
Prager University released a press statement regarding the YouTube action on Monday.
Dec. 5, 2016 – Prager University (PragerU), a conservative online video production site, announced today that YouTube has placed an outright ban on its new video with Kasim Hafeez, a Muslim and a proIsrael activist. Mr. Hafeez’s video—“Born to Hate Jews”—is about his fight against the anti-Semitism, intolerance, and radicalization that defined his upbringing in England. YouTube, though, labeled it as “hate speech,” and removed the video from its site on Monday morning, just hours after PragerU uploaded it. Monday’s development escalated a months-long pattern by YouTube of “restricting” PragerU videos that the media giant deems offensive and inappropriate. On Oct. 11, PragerU launched a petition to protest YouTube’s placement of 21 PragerU videos into “restricted mode”. That petition has received over 85,000 signatures, but YouTube has held steady in its censorship, and still restricts 17 PragerU videos, in addition to its ban of Monday’s video with Mr. Hafeez. Jared Sichel, PragerU’s Communications Director, said that PragerU filed a formal complaint on Monday with both YouTube and Google, and has re-launched its petition. “YouTube’s removal of PragerU’s video is particularly alarming. YouTube labeled the video as ‘hate speech,’ which is ironic since the video is about fighting hatred and anti-Semitism, and is presented by a Muslim,” Sichel said. Mr. Hafeez, who is the Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel, said: “It’s disturbing that a video about how I don’t hate Jews anymore is flagged hate speech. George Orwell would blush.” YouTube’s decision to remove this video is de facto censorship, and may prevent hundreds of thousands, or millions of people from hearing its valuable message.
A petition to protest the banning can be found here.
The title of the video itself seems incendiary until one views the actual content. Perhaps it was simply caught in an algorithm and automatically banned. At the time of this publishing YouTube had still not responded to Redstate’s request for comment.