The Innocence of Muslims murders: how Christians used anti-Semitism to whip up hatred
THE Innocence of Muslims protest in photos: In supposed reaction to the dire anti-Islam film, four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens are dead, murdered by a mob of Islamist protesters in Benghazi. There have been more protests at Sam Bacile’s film in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.
Who is Sam Bacile? Well, he might be the persona of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55. Nakoula says he is not Bacile, but knows someone who is.
The AP reports that federal court papers filed against Nakoula in a 2010 criminal prosecution said that he had used numerous aliases, such as Nicola Bacily, Robert Bacily and Erwin Salameh, Ahmad Hamdy, Kritbag Difrat and PJ Tobacco.
…the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula.
Nakoula is a Coptic Christian in Los Angeles. One who seems to think all Jews are big in real estate and the movies, and will use lies to tap into anti-Semitism to prove that Muslims are violent. The AP says:
Part of his 2010 bank fraud plea deal denied him access to the internet. AP found that “Bacile” was posting videos and commenting on articles in recent months and even days.
Another name being tossed about is that of Joseph Nasralla Abdelmasih, reported to be “the head of Media Christ, the organization behind the anti-Muslim film that sparked protests in the Middle East”. There is no proof that it is.
The Press Telegram reports:
Media for Christ, which has its administrative offices south of the 210 Freeway in Duarte, took out a film permit for the production, according to City Manager Darrell George… A Media for Christ employee reached by phone declined participating in the production. We didn’t film it and we’re against the movie because we respect all the religions,” said the man who declined to give his name. According to public records, Media for Christ took out a business license in 2006 at the Duarte location.
Steve Klein, who claims to have consulted a Jewish filmmaker using the name Sam Bacile, said Media for Christ “had nothing to do with the filming of this movie.” But Klein also said he could not say where exactly the video was filmed.
It was “somewhere in California,” he said. “I don’t know where.”
The AP mentions Steve Klein, “a Christian activist involved in the film project”. The Atlantic’s, Jeffrey Goldberg spoke with Klein:
He said Bacile contacted him because he leads anti-Islam protests outside of mosques and schools, and because, he said, he is a Vietnam veteran and an expert on uncovering al Qaeda cells in California. “After 9/11 I went out to look for terror cells in California and found them, piece of cake. Sam found out about me. The Middle East Christian and Jewish communities trust me.”
…I asked him who he thought Sam Bacile was. He said that there are about 15 people associated with the making of the film, “Nobody is anything but an active American citizen. They’re from Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, they’re some that are from Egypt. Some are Copts but the vast majority are Evangelical.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has further details about Klein, who is involved with militia groups:
Klein has been waging his own holy war since 1977, when he founded Courageous Christians United (CCU), a group that conducts “respectful confrontations” outside of abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques.
…Klein now heads Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group recently partnered with the ironically named Christian Anti-Defamation Commission to leaflet California high schools with material depicting the prophet Mohammad as a sex-crazed pedophile.
…He runs drills with the Christian Guardians, a San Francisco-based group headed by Andrew Saqib James, an American-born Pakistani Christian who calls Islam “a giant crime syndicate” and hopes his group will become “the most feared militia in the world.” The trainings, which allegedly take place at the Church at Kaweah’s sprawling central California compound, are described as a “unique system of learning how to survive the Muslim Brotherhood as we teach the Christian Morality of Biblical Warfare.”
The Fresno Bee has more on the “Church of Kaweah”:
The church at Kaweah — it uses a lower-case “c” in its name — is a rustic, one-story building off a rural foothill road just west of Sequoia National Park.
…Pastor Warren Mark Campbell on Wednesday confirmed that Klein has spoken twice, in 2010 and 2011, at The church at Kaweah: “He came to our church and spoke to us on Islam and the history of Islam and problems with jihad in America and around the world. He’s a specialist on the subject of Islam.”
…Klein is not a member of The church at Kaweah, Campbell said. But he refused to answer questions about the church’s relationship with Klein.
The church at Kaweah is the focus of the Southern Poverty Law Center Spring 2012 intelligence report, which states that it teaches far-right views and trains a militia.
Campbell blasted the report as “full of lies and distortions. They never met with me or anyone.”
As Richard notes, these kinds of connections might suggest that Klein is a marginal figure, but Max Blumenthal notes links to better-known activists:
It appears Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenter on [Pam] Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s Heartland.” In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas.
Nasralla took part in Geller’s anti-mosque protest in New York. Klein has a programme, entitled Wake Up America, on Nasralla’s The Way TV station.
The AP also notes the involvement of two other familiar individuals:
The AP located Bacile after obtaining his cell phone number from Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the U.S. who had promoted the anti-Muslim film in recent days on his website. Egypt’s Christian Coptic population has long decried what they describe as a history of discrimination and occasional violence from the country’s Arab majority.
Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., who burned Qurans on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, said he spoke with the movie’s director on the phone Wednesday and prayed for him.
The National American Coptic Association is run by Morris Sadek (vars Morris Sadik; Maurice Sadek). He describes himself as:
…one of Egypt’s leading human rights advocates. He is President of the Egyptian Center of Human Rights for National Unity in Cairo. In October 1999, he became Advocates’ Counsel for Middle East Affairs with a special focus on Egypt, as well as a director of our International Institute for Law.…Morris Sadek Esq is a president of national American coptic Assembly – non profit org
He has blog here.
Finally, a word from the film’s actor:
“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” said the statement, obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “We are 100 percent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”
No sequel in the pipeline, then…
Protesters chant slogans amid orange smoke outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters, largely ultra conservative Islamists, have climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, went into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with Islamic inscription, in protest of a film deemed offensive of Islam. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)