The 21st Century Phenomenon



On 06/23/2012 a movie was screened once under the name, “Desert Warriors” or “Innocence of Bin Laden,” to an audience of under 10 at The Vine Theater, which rents space for private screenings, on Hollywood Boulevard in USA. According to one attendee, “The acting was of the worst caliber”. A 14-minute excerpt from the English-language film was posted in the web through Youtube.

The film was then promoted by Pastor Terry Jones, who already provoked a strife with Islam in 04/2011 when he called to publicly burn copies of Islam (see – The Disgrace). Jones said on 11 September 2012 that he planned to show a 13-minute trailer that night at his church in Gainsville, Florida.

“It is an American production, not designed to attack Muslims but to show the destructive ideology of Islam,” he said in a statement. “The movie further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad” he added. The movie had been dubbed into Arabic, his name was changed to “Innocence of Muslims”. The movie was brought to the attention of the Arabic-speaking world by the Coptic blogger Morris Sadek whose Egyptian citizenship had been revoked for promoting calls for an attack on Egypt. The Daily Telegraph reported that it portrayed Muhammad as an advocate of pedophilia, homosexuality and showed him having sex. During the same day a two-minute excerpt dubbed in Arabic, not necessarily respectively to its English origin, was broadcast on Al-Nas (The people), an Egyptian television station. In the excerpt Muhammad is portrayed as speaking to a donkey which he calls “the first Muslim animal”. This two minutes were immediately repeated and distributed all over the Arab and Muslim world sparking anger and violence. Mob stormed of the USA Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. The other attacks were in Benghazi, Libya, which suffered at least four deaths of U.S. diplomatic personnel, including US Envoy C. Stevens. The violence continued the next days in other Arab and Muslim countries. In Yemen a protester was killed as guard opened fire when the US embassy compound in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, was stormed (see also – Muhammad Cartoons).

Initially a virtual figure Sam Bacile, told the Associated Press – AP in a phone interview Tuesday that he was an Israeli Jew living in California and had made the movie with $5 million in donations from 100 Jewish donors, and he went underground fearing Islamic revenge (see also -Theo van Gogh), implicating Israel and the Jews with the movie “Innocence of Muslims”. But Steve Klein, a Hemet insurance agent, told the Atlantic magazine that he was a consultant on the film and met the filmmaker for an hour. He said Sam Bacile was a pseudonym and that he never knew the man’s real name. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, had no record of Sam Bacile, but had a lengthy file on Steve Klein. The group’s file on Klein described him as an ex-Marine who had been active in anti-Muslim and extremist groups for decades.

According to the center, in 1977, Klein founded Courageous Christians United, which has staged protests outside mosques and abortion clinics. In 2007 he sued the city of San Clemente after it ordered him to stop planting anti-illegal immigration fliers on cars. More recently, Klein has headed up a group called Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, which last year launched a campaign of distributing fliers at high schools, many of them “depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a sex-crazed pedophile,” according to the center. Steve Klein also conducts drills at the Church at Kaweah, a militant fundamentalist group that holds trainings at the edge of the Sequoia National Park in anticipation of attacks by Muslim sleeper cells, the center said.

The search for those behind the provocative, anti-Muslim film by the American Media led to a California Coptic Christian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, convicted in 2009 of financial crimes, who acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula told AP that he helped with logistics for the filming of “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocked Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad. Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the alleged self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile.

But the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula’s aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others. Furthermore AP located ‘Bacile; after obtaining his cell phone number from Morris Sadek, who had promoted the anti-Muslim film in recent days on his website. Nakoula said that he was a Coptic Christian and said the film’s director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims (see – Copts presecution).

The actors in the film issued a joint statement, on Wednesday 09/12/2012,saying they were misled about the project and said some of their dialogue was crudely dubbed during post-production.

Although the footage is a clear Islamophobe provocation created and distributed by provocateurs, intended deliberately to insult Islam and Muslims. it is also a clear attempt to draw the line between Western values and especially the “freedom of speech and expression”, the ‘First Amendment’ in US constitution, and the hidden censorship of the “politically correct” (see -Wilder’s Acquittal). It also raises the question whether the Western societies will impose upon themselves self restrictions in order to avoid a growing Cultural Conflict, with violent implications, with Islam and muslims all over the world.


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