Innocence of Muslims: On the trail of mystery film-maker

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Innocence of Muslims: On the trail of mystery film-maker
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Thu, 09-13-2012 - 9:01am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19572912#TWEET226134

New information is emerging over the origins of an anti-Islamic video which is at the centre of violent anti-American protests in Egypt and Libya.

A film was shot in the US, and was shown at a small cinema in Hollywood at the end of June. But it is the clips posted to YouTube, translated into Arabic, which appear to have sparked these protests.

The video - Innocence of Muslims - first appeared online on 1 July, posted in English by someone using the pseudonym "sambacile."

It was very badly made and cheaply produced, with poor acting and little in the way of storyline.

The most offensive comments about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad had been quite obviously dubbed onto the soundtrack afterwards and not spoken by the actors.

One actress featured in the film said she had no idea it would be used for anti-Islamic propaganda and condemned it.

Cindy Lee Garcia, from Bakersfield in California, was quoted by the website Gawker saying she had a small role in the film which she was told would be called Desert Warriors, about life in Egypt 2,000 years ago.

She threatened to sue the director for the way the actors were represented.

Questions asked

In fact a film called The Innocence of Bin Laden was shown at a small independent cinema on Hollywood Boulevard called the Vine Theatre on 30 June this year.

Someone present, who asked not to be identified, said it lasted about an hour, had very poor production values and attracted just a handful of viewers in the two showings that evening.

He said the man organising the screening was an Egyptian living in America who had hired two Egyptian security guards for the evening.

A man saying he was the writer and director, and claiming to be Sam Bacile, spoke to a number of media outlets on Tuesday, making inflammatory anti-Islamic comments in support of the film.

He claimed to be 52, or 56, depending on the source, and to be an Israeli-born Jewish estate agent who had raised millions of dollars from Jewish donors to make the film.

But prior to last week he did not exist online, except as the YouTube posting name, and there was no record of a developer of that name.

Questions started being asked over whether Sam Bacile was a real person.

An American right-wing extremist called Steve Klein, linked with various anti-Islamic groups in California, promoted the video, but said he did not know the identity of the director.

He contradicted himself in media interviews while expressing radical views, and eventually admitted he thought Sam Bacile was just a pseudonym.

Pastor Terry Jones from Florida, whose anti-Muslim actions have included burning Korans, said he had been in touch with a Mr Bacile over promotion of the film, but had not met him and could not identify him.

Coptic link?

Another name appeared linked to the film - Morris Sadek - an Egyptian American from the anti-Islamic National American Coptic Assembly.

His promotion of the movie brought inquiries into the involvement of Coptic Christian groups.

The Copts make up a sizeable Christian minority in Egypt and some have raised concern about their religious freedom in the new Egypt under a Muslim Brotherhood president.

The Associated Press news agency, which had interviewed the man claiming to be Sam Bacile on the telephone, then followed a trail to a Californian called Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, who told AP he was a Coptic Christian and admitted he was involved in logistics and management of the film's production.

He denied being the director or posing as Sam Bacile, but AP said reporters had traced the phone number to an address near where they found Mr Nakoula.

The exact origin of the movie and the internet clip, and the motivation behind its production, remains a mystery, but it appears not to be linked to an Israeli film-maker as was earlier widely reported, including by the BBC.

It was the film's translation into Arabic and broadcast on Arab TV stations and talk shows which sparked the violence - although investigations are now under way in Washington to establish whether the worst of the violence was not spontaneous.

The religious Egyptian TV channel al-Nas showed clips from the video, dubbed into Arabic, and scenes posted online have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
The problem is how much damage will ultimately be done. And, honestly, we're being used as the scapegoats here (although we've done enough to warrant reactions in the past).

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sat, 09-15-2012 - 9:45pm

Imagine rioting and killing people just because of a film.  Unbelievable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
<< One can claim freedom of speech blah, blah, blah... But shouting "fire" is not permitted in a crowded theatre. The person/persons responsible for making & distributing this film are criminals. >>

I'm confused. What makes them criminals?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

It's criminal, IMHO, to incite riots. The film makers and those who have supported the efforts to disseminate the film's message in Muslim nations (like Terry Jones http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/13/anti-islam-minister-terry-jones-says-he-feels-no-responsibility-for-u-s-ambassador-s-death.html ) are despicable. I get the distinct impression that they are cowering behind the might and reputation of the United States to cover their sorry arses while they taunt and flaunt their perceived enemy far from where that enemy could retaliate against them personally.

If I had my druthers, they'd explain their views directly to Muslims, without sucking the nation into even more conflict. Shameful behavior, on the part of both the rioting and violent Muslims; and the misbegotten bigots seeking to pursue their own self-serving ends.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
So ya'll are saying it should be illegal to insult Muslims?

And if so, why should their religion get more protection than others? The predictability of their violence?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

One does NOT poke at a rabid dog with a short stick. At the very least, it shows a lack of good judgement. At the worst, it could result in one getting bitten, developing rabies and dying of a truly revolting disease.

Considering the U.S. deaths so far, linked ostensibly to the film, I'd say that rights of free speech do not extend to words which result in fatality. Watch the video for yourself and ask whether it doesn't have an obvious..... errrr ...... ummmm....... bias. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAiOEV0v2RM

BTW, in no way do I condone the actions of the people who let themselves be whipped into a religious fervor of rage and deathly violence. But many of them have been indoctrinated by extremists since they could walk and talk, into believing that "heresy" is a crime punishable by death. Christianity too had its violent and mindless period. Still does in some quarters.......

Edited to add that my analogy was flawed because it wasn't the film makers or promoters of the clip who were endangered immediately by their own actions.  They poked at the rabid dog with a long stick from a perch high up in a tree while there were others on the ground, within leaping distance of the dog.  That's the monstrous part.  

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004

Many times I've defended Muslims on these boards.  Didn't have a problem with the mosque a few blocks from the World Trade Centers, believed the majority were peaceful, thought maybe if we didn't antagonize we could have peace, etc.

But I'm starting to feel differently now.  (as of day before yesterday...... so it's new, but I can't shake it.)

And as of today, I'm against a law criminalizing a US citizen for "insulting" Muslims.  Additionally, where does it end?  Will it just be depictions/drawings?  Or will certain words be outlawed?

Maybe, just maybe, we should get out of Muslim areas in general.  Get our troops out, too, and let repubs whine about it.

I was thinking earlier about starting a discussion about Israel's position on what the US should do about Iran gaining nuclear weapons in only a few months..... but I don't know enough about it yet.   Will look into that as soon as the Texans finish whipping the Jaguar's butts! 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
To add: I haven't watched any video, and can't watch your link here at home, but I will tomorrow from the office. Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sun, 09-16-2012 - 10:42pm
Totally OT to Shouldbe_rich - Lol! I watched the Seahawks whip Dallas! :smileyhappy:

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004

Good thing I'm not a Dallas fan, lol.

But my employee is, and he was devastated!

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