Innocence Of Muslims: Anti-Muslim Film Sparks Outrage, Fatal Attack In Libya

Innocence of Muslims Libya

A trailer for a little-known anti-Muslim film that went viral on YouTube sparked outrage and violent attacks overnight at the U.S. Embassy in Libya that left over a dozen wounded and four Americans dead, including U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens. In a press conference today President Obama condemned the acts and promised justice to those responsible, said to be Muslim protesters angry over insults against the Prophet Muhammad made in a film called Innocence of Muslims.

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Innocence of Muslims, purportedly made for $5 million in California by an Israeli-American real estate developer named Sam Bacile, satirizes the life of Muhammad, according to Reuters, "as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake." The film, which features amateurish performances and cheap-looking sets, depicts the Prophet as a fraud and also includes scenes in which he engages in sexual acts.

A 14-minute trailer for the (fairly terrible-looking) film, filled with green-screen CG and painfully wooden performances, hit YouTube in July and was subsequently picked up by news media in Egypt and the Arabic-speaking world. Associations with Koran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones didn't help; he endorses the film and screened the trailer Tuesday.

Following the attacks in Libya and at the U.S. Consulate in Cairo, Egypt, Bacile went into hiding. Speaking by phone with the Associated Press, he was remorseful about the fatal attacks but stood behind his film as a political statement, saying "Islam is a cancer, period."

In a bizarre twist, The Atlantic spoke with a "militant Christian activist" who consulted on the film who claims that "Sam Bacile" is a pseudonym, calling into question Bacile's actual identity and background.

Meanwhile, President Obama is increasing diplomatic security details at U.S. embassies around the world.

Read more via NYT's The Lede.

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