MOSCOW  - A court in Russia’s region of Chechnya has moved to ban the anti-Islamic film that sparked deadly protests across the Muslim world, saying in a preliminary ruling it could destabilise the situation in an already violent region, officials said Friday.

The US-produced has led to massive demonstrations across the Muslim world although so far there have been no major demonstrations in Russia which is home to millions of Muslims.

A court in the Chechen capital Grozny ruled that the distribution of the film could have “serious negative consequences connected to the political destabilisation in the entire region,” said a statement by the regional ministry for national policies, media and information.

The court ruling called the film “socially dangerous and provocative,” said the ministry, citing its top official Murat Tagiyev.

The preliminary ruling was delivered Thursday and came in response to a request by the regional ministry to declare the controversial film extremist, a ministry official told AFP.

Chechnya, in the Northern Caucasus, is predominantly Muslim and the role of Islam in daily life has become more prominent under the rule of strongman local leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The Kremlin, which fought two wars against separatists in Chechnya over the past 20 years, is struggling to contain a simmering insurgency there. According to Russian legislation, the ruling of a local court will have to be enforced across the entire country.

“This is a ruling of the court that will have to be observed across Russia,” said Ruslan Idrisov, an aide to the minister, adding that Russian media will be banned from distributing the online film.

Russia’s communications minister had warned that authorities would bar access to YouTube if its owner, Google Inc., failed to abide by a court order to block access to the U.S.-produced film, which mocks Muslims and the holy Prophet.

Google has so far refused to remove the film from popular online video site YouTube which it owns.

Google’s spokeswoman in Russia, Inessa Roman-Pogorzhelskaya, said the company could restrict access to the video if it received a court order outlawing it.

On Monday, a court in Moscow is expected to consider the federal prosecutor’s request to ban the film. However federal officials have yet to explain how or if such a ban will be imposed across the country’s Internet.

Google has blocked access to the video in Libya and Egypt following violence there, and in Indonesia and India because it says the video broke laws in those countries.

Russian authorities’ moves reflect Kremlin fears that the film could foment unrest among Russia’s Muslims.