Anti-Islam film's 'producer': No regrets

2012-09-14 14:04

Amman - A man who claims to be the producer of an anti-Islam movie that has sparked violent protests across the Arab world and in several Muslim-majority countries says he has no regrets about making the film.

"No, I do not regret it. I am saddened by the killing of the ambassador but I do not regret making it," Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Copt living in California, told American Arabic-language Radio Sawa.

He was referring to the killing of US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi reportedly by a mob angered by the film, Innocence of Muslims.

"I am the one who leaked the 14 minutes and put it on the internet and I am thinking about releasing the full film. Nobody manipulated my film," Nakoula said.

Asked if he felt guilty that the violence is being directed against US citisens, Nakoula said: "Yes, I feel guilty. America has nothing to do with this subject and is suffering the consequences of a film that has nothing to do with it."


After Egypt, Yemen and Libya, protests have spread across the Middle East and further afield, including to Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Gaza Strip, Kuwait, Sudan and Tunisia.

"I had published a book in 1994 [on Islam] and it impressed certain parties who asked me if I could turn this book into a movie and this is what I did," Nakoula said.

"I have a message for the whole world and not for Muslims. I hope that you watch the movie in full before you judge it."

He described himself as "an Arab thinker interested in Islamic affairs".

The low-budget movie, in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.

It pokes fun at the Prophet Muhammad and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, while showing him sleeping with women, talking about killing children and referring to a donkey as "the first Muslim animal".

Conflicting reports

Mystery remains, however, over exactly who is behind the film, amid conflicting claims of Jewish or Coptic Christian involvement.

The film's director was initially identified as Sam Bacile, who claimed to be an American-Israeli who had Jewish financial backing.

He reportedly went into hiding after the protests erupted in Egypt and Libya.

But doubts about his identity grew, culminating in US media reports pointing to Nakoula, a California Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes, living outside Los Angeles.


Steve Klein, a consultant on the movie, denied that Israeli authorities were involved in the film, and said Bacile - which he acknowledged was a pseudonym - was mortified to hear of the US ambassador's death.

Online reports cited in the New York Times blog suggested Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, and his ally Terry Jones, the Florida pastor notorious for previous Koran-burning stunts, had cooperated in promoting the movie.

But later a report cited by US media identified Nakoula as saying he managed the company that produced the film, and that he was a Coptic Christian.

Klein said he did not know the filmmaker's nationality.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the film as "disgusting and reprehensible" and said "the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video".

  • juannepierre - 2012-09-14 14:40

    I guess the film is justifiable with regards to muslims perpetuating violence.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-09-14 16:59

      @JuanPierre, if a muslim made a film depicting Jesus in the same way, how would that make you feel? You wouldn't feel angry or insulted? Just because you don't have a firm belief in your messenger, doesn't mean others don't. Not once has a muslim EVER in retaliation depicted any of the messengers of God including Jesus in an insulting manner. This is what is the Quran teaches, respect and humility and to fight for your religion and what is right. Respect our prophet the same way you would respect Jesus (who is also a revered prophet in Islam).

      vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-14 17:11

      Yes we christians would feel angry and upset...but we not gonna go around killing non christians like the muslims do.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-09-14 17:26

      Well we wouldn't know how some Christians might react. 24 peeps killed in U.S. at a Batman movie. You never know..

  • Martin - 2012-09-14 14:45

    Religion is something people hold close to their heart. People should respect that.

  • raymon.mcnelly - 2012-09-14 14:47

    Does it not strike you all as odd that the followers of this 'Religion of Peace' are so short tempered and willing to kill at the drop of a hat... Such hypocrisy! What a laughable situation ... 'Islam is a religion of peace, and we'll kill you if you say otherwise'... hahaha

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-09-14 17:06

      Guess you don't love or respect Jesus as much. Sad.

      doug.norris.581 - 2012-09-15 04:29

      boom.afridi.56 Sounds like you are condoning the killing of people who disagree with you about your religion. Sorry, Jesus taught his followers to love his enemies, not to kill them. I guess that the founder of your religion instructed you to kill your enemies. That settles it, I guess.

  • almeleh - 2012-09-14 14:48

    I didn't see any protests after 911.

      raymon.mcnelly - 2012-09-14 14:58

      Yep, in fact, I recall celebration and jubilation in the Muslim world..

  • khabir.hoosen - 2012-09-14 15:09

    This is exactly what the world needs more stupid people making stupid movies that attracts more violence.....What was the need for making such a movie??? Will muslims please make a movie portraying Jesus as gay and a racist please!!!???

      khabir.hoosen - 2012-09-14 15:11

      All I see is more violence and hatred caused between people!! There is no need for this kind of behaviour, let people believe in whatever they want to believe in.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-14 15:11

    The truth hurts, but it will set you free!

  • goldd.goldfinger - 2012-09-14 15:30

    So lets get this straight - 1) man makes movie to prove that the muslims are violent 2) the muslims kill any person from the country where the movie was made and various other muslims around the world protest VIOLENTLY. I think this is an open and shut case. Its fair to say a large portion of muslims will kill for their religion.

  • sekalf.nroc - 2012-09-14 15:31

    He is a stupid attention seeking and ignorant a$$hole who is hiding in his hole. The video is offensive and I can not imaging any person with an average IQ watching this crab. It is provocative and has only one goal - to pi$$ people off. There are more 'style-full' ways in getting a message across than this rubbish. I can not understand why Youtube has not taken the video off their webpage - any publication harming human life should not be made available to the public. BBC and CNN have both decided NOT to issue any parts of this - out of respect to Muslims - and setting an example for Youtube.

      sean.mitchell.3591 - 2012-09-14 18:54

      This rude, disrespectful, badly made, rubbish movie has killed nobody. Fanatical, deluded zealots did.

      sekalf.nroc - 2012-09-15 07:05

      Agreed Sean, but we all know the violent nature of fundamentalists - Muslims in particular! This should have been taken into consideration.

  • nicholas.breakey - 2012-09-14 15:47

    The naughty kids are having a tantrum, give them a klap. If this is how Islam expects people to behave then it really is a more stupid religion than most.

      khabir.hoosen - 2012-09-14 16:34

      Nicholas, how do expect people to behave when others make a mockery of your religion. Clearly you dont have one so shut up!

  • david.g.fosse - 2012-09-14 16:36

    Its funny that when The Life of Brian took the piss out of Jesus we did not have the Pope running around chopping off John Cleeses head.These Muslims need to start drinking alchohol and get a personality and a sense of humour.

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-09-14 17:07

    The main point here is that Muslims can not accept anything but their own religion and if it does not agree with them: kill it.

  • christopher.wright.908347 - 2012-09-14 17:52

    I would rather be forced to watch the "Sound of Music" like a clockwork orange than watch that rubbish film. Lacks any form of wit or intelligence. If no one made a fuss, no one would watch!

  • walter.lebza - 2012-09-14 18:00

    I saw the 14 minutes clip, its awesome.

      sekalf.nroc - 2012-09-15 06:59

      your IQ must be that of a 3 years old!

  • will.fischadler - 2012-09-14 18:42

    I will say the same that I say about Christian God followers....your Bible teaches you totally different to the actions you are taking now...wait for your God or Mohammed to come and sort this all out are playing right into the hands of the people that started all this..

  • sean.mitchell.3591 - 2012-09-14 20:26

    Boom Afridi. If Moslems made a movie lampooning Christ it would be a far more civilised way to respond instead of blood thirsty mobs rampaging, destroying and murdering people who had nothing to do with it. As an atheist I would bet that if Moslems made such a movie nobody would die at the hands of Christians.

  • sterling.ferguson.5 - 2013-01-26 07:55

    @Omonaija, both Christians and Muslims sold black Africans into slavery, should this story be told in a movie?

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