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"Unspeakable Idiot": Israeli Behind Controversial Anti-Muslim Film Now In Hiding

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The filmmaker whose anti-Islam movie sparked the protests in Libya that claimed the lives of the U.S. Ambassador as well as other staffers is now in hiding. Sam Bacile, a real estate developer based in California, told the AP, "This is a political movie. The US lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we're fighting with ideas... Islam is a cancer, period." (UPDATE: Bacile seems to be an alias for a man who is neither an Israeli Jew nor a real estate developer but a California fraudster and a Coptic Christian.)

The AP reports, "The attack on the consulate was believed to be related to a trailer for Bacile’s two-hour film 'Innocence of Muslims' that was posted on YouTube and enraged conservative Muslims for its claims, among other things, that Muhammad approved of child molestation, and its depiction of Muslims as terrorist thugs." The protests in Libya as well as Egypt erupted when news media reported about the "obscure" film (based on its trailer) and broadcast clips such as "an actor playing a buffoonish caricature of the prophet Muhammad call[ing] a donkey 'the first Muslim animal.'"

Bacile, who said he was an "Israeli Jew," was interviewed yesterday (before Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed) and at the time only one American had been killed. He said, "I feel the security system [at the embassies] is no good. America should do something to change it." He also claimed that he raised $5 million to make the film, which seems ridiculous since it's rather amateurish (video of the trailer). The film has also been promoted by Koran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones.

The NY Times reports, "The Israeli government moved quickly to distance Israel from the creator of the film. Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said in a telephoned statement that 'Nobody knows who he is. He is totally unknown in filmmaking circles in Israel. And anything he did — he is not doing it for Israel, or with Israel, or through Israel in any way.' Mr. Palmor also called Mr. Bacile 'a complete loose cannon and an unspeakable idiot.'"

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Nihad Awad, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, "We urge that this ignorant attempt to provoke the religious feelings of Muslims in the Arabic-speaking world be ignored and that its extremist producers not be given the cheap publicity they so desperately seek. Those who created this trashy film do not represent the people of America or the Christian faith. The only proper response to intentional provocations such as this film is to redouble efforts to promote mutual understanding between faiths and to marginalize extremists of all stripes."

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