‘Innocence’ Director Spent Year in Jail ‘Obsessively Reading’ Koran

Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012 12:01 PM

By Martin Gould

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The director of the anti-Islam movie that has caused uproar in the Middle-East spent a year in prison “obsessively reading” the Koran, looking for ammunition to throw at Muslims, it has been claimed.

A fellow prisoner told the Los Angeles Times that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula said he had been “enlightened” in his thinking by Zakaria Botros Heneim, a televangelist “known for scorning the Prophet Muhammad.” Botros is a Coptic Christian priest who had been disavowed by his church.

Nakoula was in jail on bank fraud charges. Once he was released he started to make the movie “Innocence of Muslims” that has been used as a pretense to attack U.S. interests in the Middle East and led to the deaths of four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the ambassador to Libya.

He made the movie using the pseudonym Sam Bacile and when the furor first broke out claimed to be Israeli rather than Egyptian.

The amateurishly made movie was filmed in a studio owned by a Christian charity, Media for Christ, the Times reported. President Joseph Nassralla told the paper he had been “duped” by Nakoula and has now gone into hiding.

Nassralla — who runs a satellite TV network, The Way TV, which the Times says “airs sermons and hymns alongside anti-Islamic rhetoric” — said Nakoula told him the movie would be about Christian persecution and “would examine the culture of the desert and how it is related to what is going on right now.”

"The final product . . . bore no resemblance to the film I thought he was making," Nassralla wrote on the website of anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller. "Nakoula altered the film without anyone's knowledge, changing its entire focus and dubbing in new dialogue."

Nassralla’s comments echo those of actors in the movie who said their dialogue was dubbed in post-production and they had no idea the movie would portray the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizing buffoon.




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