New York – The controversial movie that has sparked outrage in the Muslim world has been produced by an anti-Islam Israeli-American, US media said on Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Israeli-American Sam Bacile has directed and produced the blasphemous movie. Bacile, 52, is a real-estate developer living in southern California and a sworn enemy of Islam.
He has assumed responsibility for the film, which he said was made thanks to Jewish donations totaling $5 million.
FILMMAKER IN HIDING: An Israeli filmmaker based in California went into hiding after his anti Islam movie sparked angry assaults by Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya.
Speaking by phone Tuesday from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.
“This is a political movie,” said Bacile. “The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas.”
Bacile, a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, said he believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world.
“Islam is a cancer, period,” he said repeatedly, his solemn voice thickly accented.
The two-hour movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” cost $5 million to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed it.
An English-language 13-minute trailer on YouTube shows an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about Prophet of Islam (pbuh), whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons.
Muslims find it offensive to depict Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in any manner, let alone insult the prophet. A Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet triggered riots in many Muslim countries.
A consultant on the film, Steve Klein, said the filmmaker is concerned for family members who live in Egypt. Bacile declined to confirm.
Klein said he vowed to help Bacile make the movie but warned him that “you’re going to be the next Theo van Gogh.” Van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam.
“We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen,” Klein said.
Bacile’s film was dubbed into Egyptian Arabic by someone he doesn’t know, but he speaks enough Arabic to confirm that the translation is accurate. It was made in three months in the summer of 2011, with 59 actors and about 45 people behind the camera.
The full film has been shown once, to a mostly empty theatre in Hollywood earlier this year, said Bacile. Agencies
Iran condemns blasphemous US-made movie
Irans Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the blasphemous anti-Islam film made in the United States which insults Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly condemned the desecration of Islams prophet and sympathizes with the Muslim Ummah for their hurt feelings over the act, Irans Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Wednesday.
He also lashed out at Washingtons systematic silence on such hateful moves, which are aimed at spreading Islamophobia, as the main reason behind the continuation of such measures.
Mehmanparast further noted that several documents of the United Nations and UNESCO emphasize the states obligation to prevent spread of cultural hatred.
“Apart from its legal obligations, the US government has direct moral responsibility to stop this dangerous trend of spreading the culture of hatred and desecration of Islams sanctities,” he concluded.
Rabbi flays film as ‘rubbish’
An Orthodox Jewish rabbi and former cabinet minister on Wednesday condemned as garbage and slime a film deemed offensive to Islam that has sparked deadly anti-US protests in Libya and Egypt.
Although freedom of expression and the right to use satire are sacred democratic principles, these freedoms should not be used as an excuse to publish garbage and slime, Michael Melchior, a long-standing advocate of inter-faith dialogue, wrote in a statement.
The film of Sam Bacile, who identifies himself as a Jew and an Israeli, published under the guise of the war on terror, is in fact a film that tramples upon the faith and dignity of hundreds of millions of Muslim believers, he added.
As a Jew and an Israeli rabbi, I am ashamed of the demeaning style and language of this film, said Melchior, a former minister of social affairs and deputy foreign minister.
It goes against the substance of the Torah of Israel and desecrates the name of God.
Obama condemns attack, not film
President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned attacks on a US consulate in eastern Libya that killed the US ambassador and three American members of his staff.
In a White House statement, Obama also said he had ordered all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also issued a statement, saying those killed, had been committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.
Obama called Stevens a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States.
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Obama said in the statement. The four Americans, he said, exemplified Americas commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe.
Stevens was a career diplomat who spoke Arabic and French and had already served two tours in Libya, including running the office in Benghazi during the revolt against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He was confirmed as ambassador to Libya by the Senate earlier this year.
Libyan Leader Apologizes to Americans
Libya’s interim president has apologized to the United States for the attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi that killed the American ambassador and three of his staff.
Mohammed el-Megarif described the attack as “cowardly” and offered his condolences on the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans. Speaking to reporters, he vowed to bring the culprits to justice and maintain his country’s close relations with the United States. He said the three Americans were security guards.
The attack on the Benghazi consulate was carried out by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. They used machine-guns and rocket propelled grenades. Compiled from agency reports
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