'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker traced

Published: September 12, 2012
Protesting against an offensive film, protesters burn a US flag. PHOTO: AFP

Protesting against an offensive film, protesters burn a US flag. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: A film at the center of anti-US protests in the Middle East which have precipitated in the murder of a diplomat was made by an Israeli-American, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” was directed and produced by Sam Bacile, a 52-year-old real-estate developer from southern California.

“Islam is a cancer,” Bacile had told the newspaper of his crudely-produced film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

He was speaking after protesters tore down the US flag at America’s Cairo embassy in protest at the film, which earlier was said to have been produced by expatriate members of Egypt’s Christian minority resident in the United States.

An armed mob also attacked the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi and set fire to the building, killing the American ambassador there.

Bacile told the Journal he was responsible for the film — an excerpt of which has been viewable online since July — saying he had raised $5 million to make it from about 100 Jewish donors, who he declined to identify.

He said he had worked with some 60 actors and 45 crew to make the two-hour movie in a three-month period last year in California. “The movie is a political movie. It’s not a religious movie,” he said.

It is being promoted by controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones, who has drawn protests in the past for burning the Koran and vehemently opposing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

Jones said he planned to show a 13-minute clip of the film Tuesday evening at his church in Gainesville, Florida.

The New York Times reported in its blog that the film excerpt had drawn little attention since being posted in July, but was picked up after a version dubbed into Arabic was put online last week.

A scene from the film — which uses very basic production techniques and stilted dialogue — was also was broadcast on the Egyptian television channel Al-Nas, it noted.

On Sunday, Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa denounced “the actions undertaken by some extremist Copts who made a film offensive to the Prophet.”

A spokeswoman for Jones, Fran Ingram, said she could not confirm who produced the film.

“We are showing it as part of an event that we’re doing currently, it’s livestreamed on our website standupamericanow.org… they’re going to show that trailer, the one that they’re angry about right now in Egypt.

“It’s a life of Mohammed. It’s kind of a satire, satirical movie,” she told AFP.

In 2010 Jones drew widespread condemnation over his aborted plan to burn a pile of Muslim holy books to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Jones canceled his plans under pressure from world leaders, but the mere threat to burn the Quran nonetheless sparked large protests in Afghanistan.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Nadir
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:55PM

    This guy wanted to stir stuff up… Protesters did his bidding and went on a murderous rampage! Well done!


  • Mj
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:02PM

    People need to stop getting riled up over every Tom, Dick, and Harry who ‘insults’ religion. If they are calling your religion violent, don’t prove their point by rioting and killing. Protest is a fundamental human right and should always remain peaceful.


  • chengez K
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:06PM

    ….if some one says that in holocoust 3 million jews died rather than 6 million……..he can be sent to jail…………..here this sob is in a planned way hurting one billion muslims and people like Asma Jehangir, Imtiaz Alam ,Najam Sethi….will say this is freedom of expression!!!!


  • Indian
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Ist Zaid Hamid needs to be booked for insulting Hindus………….there is a link in youtube……Recommend

  • Syed Ali
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:36PM

    Having read the above comments, let me just say the following:

    Suppose a band of criminals enter your house. They break down the door, tie you up and steal your property. Now comes along a liberal friend of yours and says, “Don’t get angry, that exactly what they want u to do!”

    A few days go by and the band returns. They breakdown your door, tie you up, steal your property and insult your family. Again your liberal and “educated” friend come along and says, “Don’t react. That would be immature. That’s exactly what they want you to do !”

    After another couple of days, the same band breaks into your house yet again, pillaging, murdering and raping. Finally you are dead and so is your family. Obviously, your friend doesn’t do anything because that’s exactly what they would want him to do.

    Moral of the story: “select your friends very carefully”


  • B
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:11AM

    @Indian: Pakistan can never bring to Justice their National Jewls.


  • Adnan
    Sep 13, 2012 - 2:19AM

    Hey man, take it easy. Zaid Hamid is considered a big joke in Pakistan. So relax! Nobody listens to him here in Pakistan.


  • Mr X from Bombay
    Sep 13, 2012 - 2:21AM

    Muslims should first start respecting other religion and let people in Islamic country practice their religion freely. Then they can make demands for respecting their own religion. The hypocrite attitude by muslims just brings bad name to Islam.


  • Observer
    Sep 13, 2012 - 2:50AM

    @chengez K:

    “….if some one says that in holocoust 3 million jews died rather than 6 million……..he can be sent to jail…………..here this sob is in a planned way hurting one billion muslims and people like Asma Jehangir, Imtiaz Alam ,Najam Sethi….will say this is freedom of expression!!!!”

    Germany instituted the holocaust law because many millions of jews were killed in Germany by Hitler. Germany, as a nation, took responsibility for their past actions of barbarism and passed this law to make sure such a human genocide doesn’t ever take place. Other countries, being part of EU adopted this resolution and passed their own laws.

    There is no question that the holocaust happened and that millions of jews were killed.

    Yet, there is no law in Germany or EU that prohibits anyone from questioning, caricaturing or criticizing Jewish faith.

    While Muslims can peacefully protest anti-Islamic incidents, do you think it is justified to resort to violence, terror and destruction? No other religionists- Christians, Buddhist, Hindus etc.- resort to such barbarism and violence when their religious symbols are criticized.


  • Zebedee
    Sep 13, 2012 - 5:17AM

    Muslims should not play into the hands of this well planned and orchestrated provocation. This is the modus operandi of those who create such hate campaigns and they will continue to do so.

    This is the classic ‘Problem, reaction and solution’ method. The producers want you to react violently (reaction), so that they can reinforce people’s hatred (solution) for Islam and the only way they can achieve this, is to create a (problem) campaign that insults the Prophet (PBUH).
    However, they plan, but the best of planners is Allah. According to Dawah centers in America and Europe especially in Denmark, during both the cartoon depiction of the Prophet (PBUH) and the Quran burning, more Qurans were purchased (for reading) during this period than any other time and subsequently there were more reverts to Islam.


  • Asok
    Sep 13, 2012 - 5:53AM

    @Syed Ali. Nobody entered your home or tied you up. Somebody made a film in some faraway land, and nobody even watched it, until people who claim to be offended by it actually started airing excerpts from it and started calling attention to it. They even went to the trouble of actually dubbing the film into Arabic, just to make sure that people are riled up enough to cause violence.

    So, by your logic, should the people who dubbed it also be subjected to punishment?

    @chengez K I disagree with the holocaust denial law, and in any case, it is only the law in a few countries, none of which have anything to do with this film.


  • John B
    Sep 13, 2012 - 6:58AM

    @Syed Ali:
    Your logic is illogical and here is why.

    The home owner cannot claim that the thief is stealing his properties and thus it is within his rights to defend himself, if his property itself was acquired by stealing. In other words, the home owner cannot claim the right of protection of his property which he himself has not accorded to his victim.

    Again, the state cannot charge an individual for murder, if the state itself fails to protect its citizens. Again, an organization cannot claim exclusive privilege of uniformity (whites only, blacks only, jews only, muslim only etc ) in a public sphere, if the organization demands equal protection from the police force funded by the taxes collected from public.

    Again, a state cannot claim sovereignty and right of self defense, if that state itself in violation of sovereign rights of others.

    Similarly a church cannot claim piety if the same piety is not given to other churches.

    Similarly, Muslims cannot claim they have the right to defend against blasphemy if they themselves commit blasphemy by calling others Kafir and infidels and people of ignorance and justify the imposition on others’ rights.


  • 1984
    Sep 13, 2012 - 7:28AM

    @Syed Ali:
    Nice story and nice morals

    However,I still cant understand how you’re linking your so caled story to this article….


  • bilal
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:06AM


  • Ijaz
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:38AM

    Nothing wrong in this movie. Its going to be ‘Super Hit’ without publicity.


  • Tariq Shah
    Sep 13, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Muslims should ignore these troublemakers, then they will go away.


  • Zealous
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:38PM

    did anyone get the chance to see any of the clip of this movie? I did few hours back and at least I am extremely annoyed and outrageous with the dialogs and defamatory scenes/comments made in this movie….

    Yes, there are wasted interests who want to agitate Muslims in particular and prove that they are impatient, violent etc…..

    I ask from all of you , sincerely, if anyone defame your parents or any close relative like your wife/daughter to the extend as did in this movie….what will be your first reaction? The reaction is proportional to the love and affection you’ve towards that one…..

    We should protest to the highest level but not by violation and killing other people…that is true…

    I am requesting everyone including non Muslims to join hand with us and protest. No one should be allowed at any cost to defame any religious figure at any cost.

    Forget about today’s Muslims but please read the life of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and judge for yourself the kind of person He was.

    After watching those few minutes clip, I am literally crying because it hurt even like me who is educated and a professional working in a multinational company.

    Best regards to all the readers.


  • Utkarsh
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:45PM

    @Syed Ali:
    I must have missed the part where a film can break into your house repeatedly and kill you and your family. Is it something like ‘The Ring’.

    Please, if you have to make analogies, at least make good ones.


  • Asok
    Sep 13, 2012 - 2:23PM

    @Zealous, this is a very subtle point and I may not be expressing it right, so please follow closely and try to see what I am trying to say.

    I respect my wife, daughter, and parents, and think they are great people, but I don’t go around telling everybody else that, or how they are better than other people’s wives or daughters or parents. Neither do I attempt to enforce such a view by force. If I did, some people would naturally be moved to start ridiculing me and my wife, daughter, and parents.

    I am not supporting the film. It is silly, stupid, and disgusting. I am just saying the idiot had a right to make it.

    As for youtube, they are a private company and will do what is best for their shareholders, customers, and users.


  • Truth Bites
    Sep 13, 2012 - 3:04PM

    I think every other year, some tom and harry come up with hate mongering films against Muslims intentially. When the previous incident getting cold, a new one started to keep Muslims reactions and hate alive, some will go to length of being a terrorists.

    Why are these films /cartoons allowed by companies and censor boards?


  • Procrastinator
    Sep 13, 2012 - 3:15PM

    Muslims should protest with greater intensity to prove respect of Islam has more value for them than their life, property, land and everything else.

    And to tell people of other religion that their faith is wrong and doing everything to convert them to Islam should be their sole duty. If destroying their places of worships or criticizing their religious practices is required for that, then it should be done with pride.


  • UH
    Sep 13, 2012 - 4:11PM

    I think this is what they are checking all the time, seeing that how Muslims react to there actions


  • peace for all
    Sep 13, 2012 - 5:22PM

    I like German Muslim Scholar’s Answer in a live TV show seen by Millions of people in the world.When he was asked about Terrorism and Islam.
    He said: Who started the First World War? Muslims?
    Who started the 2nd World War? Muslims?
    Who killed about 20 Million of Aborigines in Australia? Muslims?
    Who sent the Nuclear Bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Muslims?
    Who killed more than 100 Million Indians in South America? Muslims?
    Who took about 180 Millions of African people as slaves of whom 88% died and were thrown in the Atlantic Ocean? Muslims?
    No, They were not Muslims!
    First, you have to Define Terrorism properly. If a Non-Muslim does some thing bad, it is a crime. But if a Muslim commits the same Act. He is a Terrorist.
    First remove this double standard, and then come to the point.
    emphasized text Now its must be stop in the name of freedom.Can west allow Muslims to do the same Act on holocaust under the umbrella of freedom?. Otherwise feel slap on double standard of freedom due to this shameful and dangerous act which cause to increase the distance between East and West .


  • khan
    Sep 13, 2012 - 6:24PM

    ALLAH (SWT) in Quran prohibits Muslims from insulting non believers GODS and this is an order BY ALLAH (SWT) to the Muslims. There is no justification for murder in Islam which prohibits the killing of un-armed soldier during war. Western law of freedom of speech is being exploited by some to stir real trouble in this already troubled world for their political goals knowingly that their action are going to cause terrible reaction it is like we are free to spit but if I spit on some one’s face and claim that I am free to do that then I must be responsible for the constituencies which might follow.


  • Raza Khan
    Sep 13, 2012 - 6:31PM

    We should protest like humans not like our ancestors (Darwin’s theory)!


  • Faraz
    Sep 13, 2012 - 6:46PM

    @Syed Ali:
    It’s easy to give in to emotions without thinking common sense. If you want the criminals to come to your house again and again by doing what they want you to do i.e. shouting and being violent then it is your fault, be quiet, take it easy and not get insulted again and again, sometimes a little peace and quiet can go a long way. Going all up in flames brings you nothing except being insulted again and again, moral of your story: play it smart and don’t give criminals what they want.

    What have Muslims achieved by doing this anyway EXCEPT promotion of this video! Seriously, no one would have given it any attention had Muslims not gotten so worked-up. Stop playing in their hands and they will stop trying.


  • Faraz
    Sep 13, 2012 - 6:56PM

    “And to tell people of other religion that their faith is wrong and doing everything to convert them to Islam should be their sole duty. If destroying their places of worships or criticizing their religious practices is required for that, then it should be done with pride.”

    it is comments likes these and people like you who get these blockheads to make such movies. You want to support their belief that Islam spread by force and Muslims are violent? and how about if some Christians/Hindus think the same? that their religion is right and they have a right to destroy Mosques et cetera? What kind of Islam are you talking about? Prophet (PBUH) spread Islam by his good deeds and not violence, seriously I don’t blame these blockheads making such movies after seeing such sheer ignorance from Muslims. Recommend

  • Saima Cheema
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:06PM

    Turns out it wasn’t an Isreali or a Jewish person, a Egyptian-American Copt Christian made the film with the help of evangelical christians and put the blame on the Jewish community.

    Just to stir up tensions between Muslims and Jews sigh The racist evangelical community has been doing this for ages with their talk of “Judeo-Christian values” and their rampant Islamophobia. Way to be Anti-semetic and Islamophobic at the same time.


  • Bill Maher
    Sep 14, 2012 - 10:56AM

    I posted a suggestion yesterday.
    All please watch Religulous by Bill Maher.

    Trust me you will all enjoy it. It is a slapstick on Christianity, Mormonism, Scientology…
    Followers of those religions were definitely annoyed, but I can’t remember a single incident when people went on killing others.

    Bill Maher, however got plenty of cursed-reactions for it.Recommend

  • Indiam Muslim Mumbai
    Sep 14, 2012 - 11:27AM

    @Mr X from Bombay:
    Perhaps you should say this openly to your muslim “brothers” in india in person? What does this have to do on a non indian forum when you live with more muslims in your own land than the entire population of Pak?
    Does it make send or is the idea to complex?


  • nora
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:06PM

    i agree with you zealous…


  • Indian Catholic
    Sep 14, 2012 - 3:15PM

    @peace for all: Can west allow Muslims to do the same Act on holocaust
    Been there, done that. Please read about the Armenian Genocide.


  • G. Din
    Sep 14, 2012 - 4:35PM

    @Indiam Muslim Mumbai: to Mr X from Bombay
    ” What does this have to do on a non indian forum when you live with more muslims in your own land than the entire population of Pak”
    I read Mr. X’s comment. His comment was instigated by the recent group of Pakistani Hindus who sought asylum in India on the plea of religious persecution and is quite appropriate to raise in a Pakistani forum. It has nothing to do with his Muslim “brothers” in his own land.
    “Does it make send or is the idea to complex?”
    You can’t get over your “Muslimhood”, can you?


  • Free Thinker
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:05PM

    @Truth Bites:

    In the West we limit censoring. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right. However the movie maker will get ostracized. The Western value of freedom of speech is not going to go away.

    It seems pretty obvious that the movie, which was out for a few months? did not raise a concern until 9/11. This whole incident was orchestrated by some extremists to carry out terrorist acts. And the Islamic community is being led like sheep into violence. This violence then re-emphasizes global perceptions of Islam as being a violent and intolerant religion. So both the movie maker and the terrorists succeed. Sad.


  • pakigrl
    Sep 18, 2012 - 3:04PM

    Well any one well acquainted with islamic history knows how great prophet Muhammad(SAW) was as a human…Even non-muslims at that time kept their belongings with the prophet(SAW) and trusted him more than their own comrades….satire and mockery was present at that day and is prevalant to this day cause “satan” is at his work…Probably the biggest truth that we ignore is the presence of satan…let him fulfill his promise and wait for the promise of Allah when he wishes to fulfill it


  • pakigrl
    Sep 18, 2012 - 3:11PM

    @John B: Calling someone kafir or a non-believer is something you cannot compare to wat had been shown in that film…Being a muslim, i personally believe even true christians who truly study their scriptures and stick to their biblical beliefs would never perform such acts…that is what’s special about “people of the book”…thats what theyre called


  • pakigrl
    Sep 18, 2012 - 3:27PM

    @Procrastinator: Are you saying that keeping in view the islamic teachings? i dont think so!!!
    You literally seem to be an islam-hater and i feel pity for those people who read comments of people like you, who “appear” to be muslims and fall in the trap of “propaganda against islam” thingie


  • pakigrl
    Sep 18, 2012 - 3:34PM

    @Free Thinker:
    well said..first time after 9/11,muslims suffered,islam defamed…this time,their purpose seems to be the same


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