LOS ANGELES – Everyone was looking for Sam Bacile on Wednesday, but nobody seemed to even know if he existed.

A high-ranking Israeli official in Los Angeles said that after numerous inquiries, it appeared that no one in the Hollywood film industry or in the local Israeli community knew of Bacile, the supposed Israeli-born director/scriptwriter of the incendiary Innocence of Muslims that stirred an attack on the US mission in Libya and the killing of US Ambassador John Christopher Stevens.

The official expressed some doubt that a person by that name actually existed.

A US-based Egyptian Christian, Morris Sadek, who promoted the film on his blog on behalf of the National American Coptic, said on Wednesday that Bacile, “an American,” was behind the film.

Clips of the film showed a scrappy production portraying the Muslim prophet Muhammad variously as bloodthirsty, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child abuser, a fool and a religious fake.

According to clips, the movie’s first section, set in the modern era, shows Egyptian Coptic Christians fleeing from an angry Muslim mob. Egyptian police look on while the mob smashes up a clinic where a Christian doctor works. Then it shows the doctor talking to his daughter about what makes an “Islamic terrorist.”

After that, the clips shift to historical scenes from the period of Muhammad, most of these based on sets where the actors are clearly superimposed on a desert background.

Muhammad is referred to as an illegitimate “bastard,” shown as philandering with women and also portrayed as a homosexual. One scene shows him in an apparent sexual act with one of his wives and later with other women.

In another scene, a Christian priest offers to draw up a religious text based on verses from the Torah and the New Testament to make them into what he calls “false verses” – an apparent reference to the genesis of the Koran.

In the film, Muhammad is portrayed as a bloodthirsty leader, encouraging his followers to loot places they attack and saying they can use children in whatever way they wish.

For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous. Caricatures or other characterizations deemed insulting in the past have enraged Muslims across the world, provoking protests and violence and drawing condemnations from officials, preachers, ordinary Muslims and many Christians in the region.

Sadek, said he was sorry that US diplomats were killed.

Sadek said his objective in backing the film was to highlight discrimination against Christians who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people.

He said his priority in promoting the film was encouraging people to see its first part, which includes scenes of an angry mob of Islamists trashing a clinic belonging to a Christian while the Egyptian police do nothing to stop them.

“I am only [leading] a Coptic organization that promoted the film. I am only interested in the first part about persecution of Copts,” Sadek said.

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