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.
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.”
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
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
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
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.