• Innocence Of Muslims: How One Movie Caused A Monumental Mess.

    What do you get when you spend $5 million $100,000 to make a two-hour movie that encapsulates the average FReeper's views on Islam and its most prominent figure, the prophet Muhammad? If you answered "a clusterfuck," you'd be pretty close.

    The correct answer is "Innocence of Muslims." Right now, it's synonymous with "clusterfuck," especially if you've been following the news lately.

    Most of the film is spent cementing Muhammad's bonafides as a charlatan, a pedophile, a bloodthirsty heathen and an all around bad guy to hang out with, generally speaking. Poorly produced, poorly acted with nary a redeeming value to be found. According to critics, this is one movie not even the bootleggers would bother with.

    When I said "poorly produced" and "poorly acted," I wasn't fucking around. Please note the poor dubbing at various points. Sarah Abdurrahman did and thus cataloged the exact points in the excerpt where the actor's voices are dubbed over.

    The people who participated in making this film have already backed away and disavowed it, mostly in disgust. The whole film was a bait-and-switch for the actors and staff - turns out it was supposed to be an action-adventure flick that had nothing to do with Islam, with a completely different script. No one really had any inkling they were gonna be used to birth an anti-Islamic hit piece. It's no wonder much of their dialogue was dubbed over.

    If this movie was intended to deliberately piss off Muslims, consider it Mission Accomplished. Protests and riots erupted all over the Islamic world after a two-minute excerpt made its way onto Egyptian television.* In Benghazi, Libya, a U.S. ambassador and three U.S. diplomats were killed when the U.S. Consulate came under attack. U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia were attacked and/or raided in one way or another. In short, a major clusterfuck.

    Warships are headed to Libya. Drones are being dispatched. Libyan officials are being called on to help bag the people responsible for the attacks, lest they feel the president's sizable wingtip touching their collective prostate. There's no telling what other damage this will do to U.S. diplomatic relations in the region. Clusterfuck.

    "Innocence of Muslims" is the creation of one Sam Bacile, touted as an Israeli real estate mogul who bragged about his film being bankrolled by 100 Jewish donors. Shortly after all hell broke loose in the Islamic world, Bacile figured it would be a good idea to lay low until things cooled down.

    The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Bacile is in hiding following the backlash to his film, but remained defiant that Islam is a “cancer.”

    You'd figure that a man who has such strong views on the subject would remain out and about in defiance. Things got weirder as soon as law enforcement dredged up his real identity. "Sam Bacile" was really Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian and former Democrat turned American Independent with a rather colorful criminal history:

    According to a source close to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested by the L.A. Country Sheriff's Department on March 27, 1997 and charged with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Nov. 3, 1997 to one year in county jail and three years probation. The D.A.’s office said he violated probation on April 8, 2002, and was re-sentenced to another year in county jail.

    Nakoula had been registered to vote as a Democrat from 2002-2008, according to the L.A. County Registrar Recorder’s office. In April of 2008, he changed his political affiliation to American Independent.

    The Associated Press reported yesterday that Nakoula was a Coptic Christian convicted of federal bank fraud charges in 2010.
    As it turns out, the man had several identities he liked to use, including a certain "P.J. Tobacco." He also had ties to a number of anti-Muslim organizations and prominent people who were fervently anti-Islam:

    The shared belief that radical Islam threatens the world brought together an ex-convict, an insurance salesman and a Christian charity in production of a crudely crafted film that ridicules Muslims and the prophet Muhammad and has incited violent protests across the Middle East.

    Media for Christ, a nonprofit that raised more than $1 million last year "to glow Jesus' light" to the world, was listed as the production company for the film. Steve Klein, a California insurance salesman and Vietnam War veteran who has spent years protesting at mosques and espousing hatred of radical Muslims, acted as the film's promoter.

    And Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who authorities say has used multiple names and was convicted of bank fraud, says he managed logistics for the film.

    A Coptic Christian fraudster and methmaker assumes the identity of an Israeli Jew to create an anti-Islamic film that's now responsible for creating one of the worst diplomatic disasters for the U.S. Clusterfuck no longer effectively describes it.

    Making a film that essentially shits all over an important religious figure for a good portion of the globe's people is never a good idea.

    Meanwhile, Tristan Gray thinks no one should bother themselves with what Muslims think, especially if it offends their sensibilities:

    I think all of this is best responded to by one of the champions of the educated culture of rights and tolerance we are trying to build, Stephen Fry:

    It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights; it’s actually nothing more….. It’s simply a whine. It’s no more than a whine. ‘I find that offensive,’ it has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well so fucking what?

    Our reaction to the protests in the Middle East should be exactly that. There should be, there must be, no compromise, no backing off the rhetoric of freedom of speech. There is no such thing as the “abuse” of human rights to the freedom of speech. So what if you are offended? Grow a tougher skin. If your only possible reaction to being offended is violence it is you who has made the act of aggression and should be responded to in kind.

    Our reaction to the demands of the Islamists who claim “we are offended” should be a very clear and resounding “Well so fucking what?”

    "So fucking what".

    That's the type of response that's bound to get more U.S. dignitaries killed in the Middle East and North Africa. That response will also have scores of U.S. tourists treading lightly in predominately Muslim locales. Considering the current state of U.S. policy vis-a-vis Muslims and the Middle East, saying "so fucking what" is the last thing we need to be doing.

    It's as though no one's heard of the concept of blowback.

    *It's worth mentioning that Morris Sadek, a Coptic Christian activist with ties to guys like infamous Florida pastor Terry Jones, did his part to push the film by posting a couple of trailers of the film, with Arabic subtitles added for good measure, onto the website of the National American Coptic Assembly.