Video insulting Prophet Mohammad, Koran-burning pastor spark U.S. embassy attacks
Miami, FL, United States (4E) – A 14-minute trailer of a film ridiculing Islam’s holy figure that was posted on YouTube in July and its promoter, controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones, have sparked the deadly attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, according to reports.
The clip of the “Innocence of Muslims,” which portrays Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer and homosexual, was posted on YouTube by its alleged producer and director Sam Bacile, who is reportedly in hiding after Muslim protesters stormed and set on fire the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya killing four Americans, including Amb. Chris Stevens. The trailer was not noticed until an Arabic version was posted on the video-sharing website and immediately stoked anger among Muslims.
The Afghanistan government is trying to block YouTube to prevent the viewing of the blasphemous trailer.
Bacile identified himself as an Israeli real estate developer based in California in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday.
The newspaper quoted Bacile as saying he made the film using $5 million sourced from 100 Jewish donors and wanted to depict Islam as a “cancer.”
Israel’s media, however, reported that authorities denied there is a citizen by that name. Steve Klein, a consultant of the film, claimed that Sam Bacilie is a pseudonym, according to The Atlantic.
The BBC described the two-hour film as crudely made with some dialogues dubbed over with anti-Islamic diatribes apparently without the knowledge of the unknown American actors in the film. One scene in the trailer shows Egyptian Coptic Christians being attacked by Muslim militants.
The movie was shot in the U.S. in English. The trailer was picked up by a religious TV station in Egypt and its discussion in the channel’s talk show was also posted on YouTube and viewed by thousands.
Miami New Times reported that the video was attached to an email on Jones’ announcement of a “Judge Mohammad Day” on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Tuesday. The email was sent around Egypt leading to protests and attack of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday.
After the interview with New Times, the pastor, who caused deadly riots in Afghanistan last year for burning a Koran, was quoted as saying that he will show the trailer at his church the Dove World Outreach Centerin Gainesville, Florida.
Meanwhile, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers claimed the attack of the embassy in Libya was planned and timed to coincide with the 11th anniversary of 9/11, according to the New York Post.