Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Questions swirl around anti-Islam film blamed for Egypt protest, attack in Libya

Questions swirled Wednesday around the makers of a provocative anti-Islam movie blamed by some for triggering protests at U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and Libya and sparking an attack on the latter that claimed the life of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
At least one clip from what is described as a feature film titled “Innocence of Muslims” was posted on YouTube and later reposted after being translated into Arabic. The clip, an amateurish production featuring dozens of actors, portrays Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be God’s prophet, as a womanizer, a homosexual and a child abuser.
Reports published by The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal identified the filmmaker as Sam Bacile. The AP described Bacile as a 56-year-old Israeli American real estate developer from California; the Journal said he was a 52-year-old real estate developer, but did not say where he lived. Both news organizations said that they interviewed Bacile, who was said to be in hiding, by phone, and both quoted him as saying the film was intended to show that "Islam is a cancer."
"This is a political movie," the AP quoted him as saying. "The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we're fighting with ideas."
But by midday Wednesday, Bacile's credibility -- indeed his very existence -- were being questioned:
  • The Atlantic quoted a man reported by the AP to be a consultant on the film, Steve Klein, as saying that “Bacile” is a pseudonym and that the filmmaker “is not Israeli and most likely not Jewish.”
Klein, a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, Calif., told the Atlantic  he doesn’t know the man’s real name and indicated that the filmmaker contacted him because he leads anti-Islam protests outside mosques and schools.
  • A source close to the cast and crew of the film told NBC News that the man known as Bacile misled the actors and production crew. 
"The entire crew and cast are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer," the source said. "We are 100 percent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."
  • Israeli officials also told the AP that there is no record of an Israeli citizen named Sam Bacile.
  • California corporate records show no one by that name as holding a real estate license there.
The 13-minute, English-language trailer was posted on YouTube in July by an account registered to Sam Bacile. The account, which was created in April, lists Bacile's age as 75 and has been used only twice apart from posting the trailer -- once to "like" another video and to make one comment, in Arabic. That comment, which referenced a debate on Egyptian TV over the "Innocence of Muslims" clip, was translated as, "Oh, Animal, it’s 100% an American movie."
The trailer shows an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults cast as revelations about Muhammad. 
Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any manner, let alone insult the prophet. A Danish newspaper's 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet triggered riots in many Muslim countries.
The Journal reported the film had been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots in Pakistan and other Muslim nations.
Jones, the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., told NBC News on Wednesday that he aired the trailer once in his makeshift church. But he said efforts to screen it on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, were thwarted by technical difficulties.

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NBC's Kerry Sanders talks about the controversial pastor's history of provocative acts against Islam and how he may be tied to an inflammatory film that has sparked uproar within the global Muslim community.
"We tried to stream it … and every time we did that, it was cut off, disappeared,” he said.
A statement on the pastor’s political website, posted late Tuesday, said that the screening was to have been part of a day-long ‘International Judge Muhammad Day’ in which the Muslim prophet would be subjected to a mock trial for “promoting murder, rape, and destruction of people and property through his writings called the Koran.”
The AP also reported that Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian in the United States known for his anti-Islam views, said he was promoting the video on his website and on certain TV stations, which he did not identify.Jones also told NBC’s Kerry Sanders that he had been in contact with the movie’s producer, but did not provide financial support for its production or distribution.
Although it was posted to YouTube in July, the film only attracted attention in the Middle East after an unknown person recently dubbed it into Egyptian Arabic. That translation, which the man who identified himself as Bacile told the AP was accurate, has been broadcast repeatedly on Egyptian media in recent weeks after being seized upon by extreme Islamists who dislike the presence of the country’s Coptic Christians.
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NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports on the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The envoy is the first American ambassador killed on duty since 1979.
Film news site The Wrap said the Arabic-dubbed version had garnered more than 40,000 views by Tuesday afternoon. However, that clip appeared to have been taken down on Wednesday.
The AP quoted the man who identified himself as Bacile as saying that the film was made in the summer of 2011, with 59 actors and about 45 people behind the camera. The Journal quoted him as saying that the film cost $5 million, which was raised from about 100 Jewish donors, whom he declined to identify.
The man also told the AP that the full film, which he said is three hours in length, was shown only once, to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood earlier this year.  
No record of such a screening could be found.

Comment author avatarIfITellUWhoIAmUCanWireTapMe?Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Freedom of speech, remember?
However, I really wish that Israelis would not implicate the US in their religious wars.
Religious wars are going to kill the innocent.
Thou shalt not kill, we all agree with that religious law, don't we?
Then why do the religious defy their Gods? If they would all obey the laws of their Gods, the rest of the world would be safe from the religious fanatics that are placing the world in danger.
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#1 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:24 AM EDT
Comment author avatarORB 1943Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Sam Bacile is an IMBECILE. He knew that his film would cause trouble - that's why he made it. That said, the West should show Fundamentalist Islam exactly rhe same degree of tolerance they offer anyone else.
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#1.1 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:55 AM EDT
Comment author avatarmimi jacquesExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Israel is not implicating you/US in any religious wars. The YouTube trailer exceprt was played on Egyptian TV for days before 9/11- Egyptian security warned US of Imminent Threat- no extra US security at the Cairo Embassy- the embassy staffd and the Amb.Patterson were away from there before the paid Ultrarebels (soccer violence)antiMubaraks and MB/Nour protestors got on the scene. Who was the Inciter? Egyptian g'ment TV or some dude in CA making YouTube? Obama apologizing ditto Egypt/State personnel on their twitter tweets (now they are busy deleting tweets)-Libya- condolences to Ambassador J.Christopher Stevens' family ,the 3 other US foreign/consulate employees' families and the injured US diplomatic service member-speedy recovery and the Foggy Bottom family.US has not been informed yet that on 9/11 AQ Numero Uno Aiwan Al-Zawahiri released his own video commemorating 9/11 martyrs -warning American Muslims of their impeding Holocaust in a 53 we (me+amici )styrongly condemn any and all terrorism -their incitement on religious grounds -especially by Egyptian g'ment TV and Al-Jazeera- as agitators for violence- for intolerance of Freedoms (speech,religion.,assembly,inalienable rights of human beings)-for mass hysteria (reading/writing competence/comprehension..lack thereof). Obama's apologies were on the cyberspace for almost 18hrs- before he condemned the attacks on US Embassies/Consulate. At leadst State/HRC stronhly condemned said attacks-and the unwanton killing of US Diplomatic personnel and the debasement of US property under Diplomatic Protocol and their non-existent protecytion under said Protocols.
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#1.2 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:57 AM EDT
Comment author avatarPaul-794190Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Freedom of speech does not extend to yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. This man and the Egyptian Coptic who translated this film knew what violence it would incite because of their knowledge of the subject matter first hand. They get to go into hiding while others are killed in their cowardice. They should be tried for the murder of an American Diplomat and the destruction of property for their wrecklessness!
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#1.3 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:59 AM EDT
Comment author avatarPeterDeanExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Dumb an now a cluster f__k.......A video of someone crapping on a crucifix would cause Christians to be upset as well (Southern states would lynch you)......Freedom of speech has intention behind it.....Just being a douche bag and hiding behind freedom of speech as it incites riots is silly. I'm Christian...and I think what is happening is antagonistic and politically motivated by right wing nutz. That pasture is a hateful clown and too stupid to realize how ashamed of him Christ would be. Wake up paranoid boy......
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#1.4 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:02 AM EDT
Comment author avatarPeterDeanExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
I think you are right Mimi...we should go to war......U guys are such a contradiction.....How is that fiscally responsible? Yes war in the whole middle east....or maybe just Afgan, Egypt and Lybia...but then what will we do with Iran an Syria? You must be mildly retarded if you do not understand the quagmire that they are trying to avoid so our economy exists in 10 years.....
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#1.5 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:10 AM EDT
Comment author avatarRamFlaExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
This im-Bacile should at least have the guts to accept the consequences of his acts... If you instigate a fight the least you can do is take place in it, if not you are nothing but a coward.
At this moment he should be tried as accessory (if not instigator) of murder.
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#1.6 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:10 AM EDT
Comment author avatarVoiceinmyheadExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Those who would abuse their freedom of speech should use that privilege responsibly, when they abuse it they should lose it.
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#1.7 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:13 AM EDT
Comment author avatarquovadisusaExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Paul: People who commit the murder should be tried for murder. Take a hard look at what happened. This is the Fundamentalist Islamic goal for the world--including you.
Peter: How would Christ look on Fundamentalist Islamists murdering people in the name of Allah? Have the Islamists been successful in bullying people--including you--to the point of fearful silence, or worse, to the point where you are doing their bidding for them by silencing their opposition?
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#1.8 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:14 AM EDT
More movies should be made showing how governments and people use religion to cause people to act in such violent ways.
There have been many movies done on even X-Rated movies Muhammad even a few guys named Muhammad made porn movies about Muhammad. I do not see where this movie is so bad.
The US should not be sending in more troops into the area just pull out and leave a phone number to call for help.
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#1.9 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:18 AM EDT
PeterDean said, "A video of someone crapping on a crucifix would cause Christians to be upset as well."
True...and the result would most likely have been a protest march, and a boycott of the business of whomever made the film. Do you honestly want to compare that with a large band of animals storming a country's embassy/consulate and killing people who had nothing to do with the making of a film?
Bacile is an idiot (or an im-Bacile...that was a good one, RamFla), plain and simple. But he did make one good point: the security at the embassies was p*ss poor. The second anyone tried to gain unauthorized entry, or the second anyone showed a weapon, the protestors should have been fired upon. Larger-numberes and more aggressive security is clearly needed.
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#1.10 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:19 AM EDT
Comment author avatarGloryhound-848713Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Either the movie must reveal a lot of trueths about Islam or it strikes a cord and shows the violent nature Islam truely believes in. Otherwise they would not have killed anyone except the maybe the person responsible.
We as Americans should be able to say without fear of physical reprisal anything we want to about Islam. We should be able to go out and buy as many Korans as we want and burn them. It is our money that buys it making the book our property to do with as we please. We do not beholden the American people to the laws of religion. The people that react violently over the non-violent actions of burning a book or making a movie are the real criminals here. Anyone that wants to vilify a person for expressing their opinion in a way that causes no physical harm is being oppresive of that persons freedom. Those that killed the 4 Americans are the criminals and show just how violent their religion is. Honestly I think the Koran and Islam should be banned from the USA for its violent reactions to non-violent actions.
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#1.11 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:20 AM EDT
Comment author avatarJeff-1592116Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
"Islam is a cancer, period," the AP quoted him as repeatedly saying.
Actually DUMB@$$ all religions are a cancer.
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#1.12 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:20 AM EDT
Freedom of religion does not extend to killing the innocent.
Responsible behavior is a concept the religious can not grasp.
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#1.13 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:20 AM EDT
If we had real journalism someone would be looking into where the money came from. That is the ONLY real story.
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#1.14 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:20 AM EDT
Comment author avatargeorge pauljohnExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
So another right wing hate monger christian preacher, insults 1.6 billion people over and over. Then some other right wing hate mongers take to rioting and murder in reaction.
Then the preacher does it again with his film. So what did he think would happen? Free speech that you know will get people killed is murder. Like yelling fire in a crowded theater. So then brave Romney Bashes Obama like it's his fault and not the fault of said Right wing preacher. At the very least it is negligent Homicide on the part of the preacher. At worst premeditated murder as an accessory before the fact.
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#1.15 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:21 AM EDT
Comment author avatarBarlow-1919963Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
This guy who made this film should be put in prison for inciting a riot where people are killed. Withhold the film and everybody lives. He is guilty, I hope the Muslims get him. Being neither Christian nor Muslim I still respect the Holy Books of other religions. The Koran has many wonderful passages in it, my favorite begins, "In the remembrance of God, are the hearts set at rest...13:28"
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#1.16 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:22 AM EDT
Comment author avatarBill-AustinExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
Can we all agree that the most fanatical religious zealots are sadly the more ignorant, or shamefully, the most manipulative among us? That said, do we really have to support either the ignorant or the manipulative? We should mostly ignore them, and certainly not let them establish foreign policy for our great country.
Which brings us to Romney and Palin. Really? You would let the ignorant and manipulative provide your foreign policy agenda. Perhaps because you are also ignorant and manipulative? Shame on both of you. Go somewhere and pretend you are ruling a country of fellow ignorant fools. Feel important now?
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#1.17 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:23 AM EDT
The coward ignited the fire and now is hiding.
Freedom of speech is bad once you start speaking hate and encouraging hate. Irresponsible people abuse it and that has bad consequences for all of us.
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#1.18 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:27 AM EDT
You guys have forgotten the "art" exhibit in NY years ago that had a picture of the virgin Mary with dung on it and a crucifix sitting in a cup of urine. Guess how many people were murdered over that. Zero.
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#1.19 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:28 AM EDT
Comment author avatarRI MomExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
This horrible idiot, Bacile, is a damn coward.
And those who funded this project should be VERY AFRAID.... because their sensibilities were lost and they have no common sense.
Don't give me the "THEY DO IT"...because in this UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, we RESPECT the safety and honor of those serving overseas to protect US.
"Pastor" Terry Jones repeatedly attempted to cause dangerous international incidents.
I'm furious that good people had to die because of this inflammatory film that was always INTENDED TO PROMOTE VIOLENCE.
Drag Bacile out into the street... and let him rant his hate OVER THERE.
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#1.20 - Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

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