Who is Provoking Muslims?

gretavo's picture

The (Rupert Murdoch) Wall St. Journal and the Associated Press, apparently...


Libya Violence incited partly by film made by Christian activists in California

libya violence
September 12, 2012
By: Diane Schmidt

A heavily edited and dubbed-over film trailer with an Arabic translation that mocked Muhammad gained notoriety on the internet on Tuesday, on the anniversary of 9/11, and contributed to the mob actions that caused the death of the U.S. Ambassador in Libya, and a similar mob attack in Egypt on the U.S. Consulate there. It was created by a group with ties to a rightwing Christian evangelical and an Egyptian Christian Coptic in California. They spread disinformation, incorrectly and widely initially reported by AP and the Wall Street Journal, that the film was made by a Jewish American-Israeli named "Bacile." This, it is now being revealed, was a fabrication, and no such person exists.

Late Wednesday the AP replaced its original story and has established that one of the film's backers is an Egyptian Christian Coptic in California, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose middle name is similar to the pseudonym "Bacile' originally reported. Atlantic blogger Jeffry Goldberg posted the AP corrected story with commentary at:


As reported earlier today by the Jewish Forward, another partner in the film was "California Christian anti-Muslim activist Steve Klein, who stated the movie was a low-budget project which he himself described as a “bad fifth grade production." The article also notes that the Egyptian Coptic community, which has experienced persecution there, has denounced the film. Read more at:


To repeat: The airing of parts of a film that had been on YouTube, with added offensive remarks dubbed in making references to Muhammed, the founder of Islam, and then translated into Arabic, deliberately was brought to the attention of the Wall Street Journal on the anniversary of the 9/11. It gained immediate notoriety and contributed to mob riots in Libya and Egypt, and in Libya the U.S. ambassador was killed. The film was falsely attributed by its creators to a Jewish Israeli and support from Jewish donors, but this is false.

The supposed filmmaker "Bacile" apparently does not even exist, and The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal initially ran with an incorrect story that the film's maker was Jewish, which was widely disseminated across the Middle East. The news media outlets are now belatedly reporting new information, but as yet, as of this hour, have not issued a formal correction or apology for the erroneous information they originally spread.

Meanwhile, the deaths of American government officials in Libya has spiraled into fodder for anti-administration wags on the Republican side who made accusations that the Obama administration did not issue a strong enough condemnation right away.

Reports now coming in speculate that the attack on the U.S. consul in Libya appears to have been well-coordinated and may have been planned in advance by Al-Queda, as reported by Newsweek's Daily Beast here:


but, it appears at this time, that the inflammatory internet airing of parts of the film, with crude dubbing over of different words than the actors were even saying, adding insults about Muhammed, the founder of Islam, added fuel to the mob actions.

As Atlantic blogger Jeffry Goldberg points out, "So, if this is true, then a group of Christians, or at least one Christian, eager to slander Muslims have endangered Jews. How so? The story that "Sam Bacile" is an Israeli Jew, with "100 Jewish donors," has spread across the Middle East. It is not possible to withdraw such a story. The onus for violence is on the people who commit violence, of course. But if true, this fiction that the anti-Muhammad movie was a Jewish production is cowardly and despicable. Alas, "Sam Bacile" could not have spread the apparent fiction that Jews were behind this film without the help of the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, which both reported, without independently checking, "Sam Bacile"s claim to be Israeli."

The purpose of the film was to deliberately incite violence in order to discredit the Arabic world. That it was so easily successful in manipulating people to carry out acts of violence shows the grave dangers of disinformation and propaganda that can be readily accomplished in seconds with internet connections.

Thursday update: Mob in Yemen attacks U.S. embassy in further anti-American actions denouncing the film.