Anti-Muslim film blamed for uprisings allegedly linked to Coptic Christian living in California
While he denies directing 'Innocence of Muslims,' some evidence suggests otherwise
An amateurish, homemade film production denouncing the Muslim faith entitled "Innocence of Muslims" circulated on the Internet is being blamed for anti-American protests across the Arab world. The filmmakers responsible for the film have been shrouded in mystery - now, a Coptic Christian by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been linked to the project.
The filmmakers responsible for the film have been shrouded in mystery - now, a Coptic Christian by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been linked to the project.
While denying he directed the film, the cell phone number he gave reporters for the elusive Bacile was traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP reporters found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula's aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh among others.
Nakoula, previously convicted of financial crimes has acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production.
The 55-year-old Nakoula told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he assisted in the filming of "Innocence" which mocks Muslims and the prophet Muhammad. He freely provided the first details about the film's shadowy production history.
During a conversation outside his home, he offered his driver's license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found it and other connections to the Bacile persona.
Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, who burned Qurans on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, said he spoke with the movie's director on the phone this week and prayed for him.
"I have not met him. Sam Bacile, that is not his real name," Jones said. "I just talked to him on the phone. He is definitely in hiding and does not reveal his identity. He was quite honestly fairly shook up concerning the events and what is happening. A lot of people are not supporting him."
The film was implicated in protests that resulted in the burning of the U.S. consulate Tuesday in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Innocence of Mulims, blasphemy, California, Coptic Christian
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