Last week, angry mobs attacked the American consulate in Libya, killing four Americans. This outbreak of violence began in outrage over a new movie produced in the west, which rudely depicted the prophet Mohammed. But what is this movie, exactly? Where did it come from, and who produced it? And why?
Who's REALLY behind the anti-Islam movie that incited riots?
Actors were tricked into making it.
At first, some people thought that the movie didn't exist at all, that it was a plant or conspiracy, a thinly veiled excuse to attack American institutions in Libya. But it turns out that the truth is stranger still.
"Innocence of Muslims" is a low-budget film described as "amateurish." It depicts the prophet Mohammed - which is in itself a grave offense to Islam. Worse still, Mohammed is depicted "as a womanizer, buffoon, ruthless killer and child molester." The violence began when clips of this movie were played by an outraged local news station.
When making the movie, the filmmaker called himself Sam Bacile. (Authorities have revealed him to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, "a convicted felon with a history of using aliases to hide his actions.") Bacile told his actors and crew that he was making an Arabian desert adventure set 2,000 years ago, revolving around a man named George.
Bacile misled 79 people into filming his movie. After it was finished, he dubbed "Mohammed" over the word "George."
Imagine waking up one morning to find that you were tricked into filming a movie that had literally led to rioting and murder. Actress Anna Gurji is terrified. Actress Lily Dionne feels overwhelmed and betrayed. No doubt everyone else involved in the production (except Bacile/Nakoula) feels the same way.
Why did he do it?
Bacile/Nakoula told one of his actresses that he "wants the Muslims to quit killing." (How would a blasphemous movie depicting Muhammed as a child molester accomplish that?) He told the Wall Street Journal that he was an Israeli-American real estate developer with wealthy Jewish backers. (Israel says Bacile does not have Israeli citizenship, and condemns his actions.) In an interview, Bacile said that his movie was "a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam." He told a production member that he was a Coptic Christian who raised money for the film in Egypt.
So who really bankrolled "Innocence of Muslims?" Chatter online points the finger at everyone from the International Banking Conspiracy to the CIA, and everyone in between. We may never know the real answer.