Innocence of Muslims is a 2012 religious and political film that allegedly triggered the September 11, 2012 storming of the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and a rocket attack on an embassy personnel car of the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in at least four deaths of U.S. diplomatic personnel, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.[2]


The independent film was allegedly produced and directed by "Sam Bacile", described as a 56 year-old real estate developer and "Israeli Jew",[2][3] However, Israeli authorities found no evidence that he is a citizen,[4] and there is no evidence of a Sam Bacile around 50 years old living in California or having a real estate license [5] or participating in Hollywood filmmaking. Though "Bacile" claimed the film had been made for $5 million from 100 Israeli donors,[6] Hollywood Reporter described the appearance as unprofessional, calling this claim into doubt.[7] The film's consultant, Steve Klein, told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that Bacile is not a real person and is not Israeli or Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym for about fifteen Copts and Evangelical Christians from Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, and Egypt. Goldberg questions the reliability of Klein.[8]

According to Bacile, he produced the film to call attention to what he called the "hypocrisies" of Islam,[9] and Bacile claims it was screened in full just once, to a mostly empty movie theater in Hollywood.[10] Klein reportedly told Bacile: "You're going to be the next Theo van Gogh."[10]


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The film has been promoted by Terry Jones. Media reporting of Jones' burning of Qurans previously led to deadly riots around the world. Jones said on 11 September 2012 that he planned to show a 13-minute trailer that night at his church the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, 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."[2]

In July 2012, a 14-minute excerpt from the English-language film was posted on YouTube. By September the movie had been dubbed into Arabic and was brought to the attention of the Arabic-speaking world by a Coptic blogger whose Egyptian citizenship had been revoked for promoting calls for an attack on Egypt.[11][12] Muslim leaders criticized the film's depiction of Muhammad.[13] The Daily Telegraph reported that it portrayed Muhammad as an advocate of pedophilia and a homosexual, showing him having sex.[14]

According to a Cairo newspaper, the film was denounced by the leader of an Egyptian political party,[15] and the same day a two-minute excerpt dubbed in Arabic was broadcast on Al-Nas, an Egyptian television station.[16] In the excerpt, the actor playing Muhammad called a donkey "the first Muslim animal".[17] This has been attributed[18] as a reference to critics of Islam to a conversation with a taqiyya-practicing donkey described by Father Zakaria Botros to have occurred in Ibn Kathir’s al-Bidaya we al-Nihaya.[19]

U.S. Libyan diplomatic mission attacks

The Arabic version of the film was cited as the reason for a several September 11 attacks on US embassies in the Arab world. The embassies in Cairo and Benghazi were both attacked, with the Benghazi attack reported to have resulted in the death of ambassador Christopher Stevens.[20] There is presently some confusion whether Stevens was killed in the Tuesday attack or in a separate rocket attack on his motorcade as it fled the city early Wednesday morning.[21]

Afghanistan decided to censor YouTube; president Hamid Karzai said the makers of the film committed a "devilish act".[22] Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi urged the United States government on Tuesday to prosecute the 'madmen' behind the video."[23]

Bacile has gone into hiding fearing that current actions could be used as an excuse to harm him.[2] He continues to defend the film.[10] Saying he was sorry for the death of Stevens, Bacile blamed the embassy's security system.[4]

See also


  1. Associated Press. Muhammad film: Israeli director goes into hiding after protests. Guardian. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "American Killed in Libya Attack". YNetNews.,7340,L-4280316,00.html. 
  3. "Maker of anti-Islam film goes into hiding: report". Reuters. 12 September 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Peralta, Eyder. What We Know About Sam Bacile, The Man Behind The Muhammad Movie : The Two-Way. NPR. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
  5. Filmmaker Sam Bacile behind anti-Mohammad propaganda 'Innocence of Muslims" is not Israeli. NY Daily News. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
  6. "Filmmaker Goes Into Hiding". New York Times. 12 September 2012. 
  7. Jordan Zakarin (2012-09-12). American Ambassador to Libya Killed Over Anti-Islam Film. Hollywood Reporter.
  8. Muhammad Film Consultant: 'Sam Bacile' is Not Israeli, and Not a Real Name - Jeffrey Goldberg. The Atlantic (2012-08-20). Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
  9. "U.S. Missions Stormed in Libya, Egypt". Wall Street Journal. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Anti-Islam Filmmaker In Hiding After Attacks". Associated Press. NPR. 12 September 2012. 
  11. Sadik, Morris (September 5, 2012). Global film on the Life of Muhammad Nbyalasalam and the Trial of Mohammed (Arabic). Coptic American National Assembly (blog). Retrieved on September 12, 2012.
  12. "US envoy dies in Benghazi consulate attack". Al Jazeera English. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  13. "Obscure Film Mocking Muslim Prophet Sparks Anti-U.S. Protests in Egypt and Libya". New York Times. 
  14. Richard Spencer and Barney Henderson (12 September 2012). "US ambassador to Libya 'killed in attack on Benghazi consulate". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  15. Original news article (Arabic) cited by New York Times
  16. Original broadcast (Elmo Khales TV on YouTube) cited by New York Times.
  17. Robert Mackey and Liam Stack (2012-09-11). Obscure Film Mocking Muslim Prophet Sparks Anti-U.S. Protests in Egypt and Libya.
  18. {{cite web|url= Anti-Muhammad Video: Ridiculous, and Now Deadly Serious|author=James Poniewozik|publisher=Time Entertainment|date=2012-09-12
  19. Father Zakaria Botros on "The perverse sexual habits of the Prophet" Part III.
  20. September 12, 2012 8:22PM. US ambassador Chris Stevens killed in Benghazi by protesters angry at 'Innocence of Muslims'. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
  21. US ambassador, consul among 4 killed in militia attack on Benghazi consulate. RT (2012-09-12).
  22. Arghandiwal, Miriam. Afghanistan bans YouTube to censor anti-Muslim film. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
  23. Kirkpatrick, David D. (September 12, 2012). "U.S. Envoy to Libya Is Killed in Attack". New York Times. 

External links

de:Innocence of Muslims fr:L'Innocence des musulmans it:L'Innocenza dei Musulmani ja:イノセンス・オブ・ムスリム ro:Innocence of Muslims ta:இனசன்ட் ஒவ் முஸ்லிம்ஸ் th:Innocence of Muslim

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Innocence of Muslims, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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