An Israeli-American filmmaker has gone into hiding after his low-budget film, attacking Islam's Prophet Muhammad, sparked attacks on US embassies in Egypt and Libya, that left four Americans dead including American Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The Associated Press reports, in a phone interview, writer and director Sam Bacile remains defiant, despite the reaction, saying "Islam is a cancer" and that he intended his film, condemning the religion, to provoke a reaction.
Bacile is a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli-Jew, claiming the movie will help his homeland by exposing Islam's flaws to the world. "Islam is a cancer, period."
"Innocence of Muslims," cost $5 million to make and Bacile claims it was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors. But AP reports the trailer on YouTube shows an amateur cast, performing "a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about the Prophet" and portraying his followers as "a cadre of goons."
The Wall Street Journal says clips from the film show the Prophet Muhammad as a homosexual, who "rises to advocate child slavery and extramarital sex"
Muslims say it is offensive to depict Muhammad in any manner, and blasphemous to insult the Prophet. In 2005, a Danish newspaper's publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet triggered riots in many Muslim countries.
The film is being promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans had sparked deadly riots around the world. Jones says he planned to show a 13-minute trailer at his church in Gainesville, Florida. In a statement he says, "It is an American production, not designed to attack Muslims but to show the destructive ideology of Islam." "The movie further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad."
The BBC says the film is also being promoted in the US by conservative Coptic Christians, including Morris Sadek, head of a small group called the National American Coptic Assembly. Sadek says,"The violence that it caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people are and it is evidence that everything in the film is factual."
Coptic leaders from around the world have denounced the film and its portrayal of Islam.
Bacile, says he posted the trailer on YouTube in early July, but nobody paid any attention until the past few days when activists on Twitter began talking about it, and Egyptian clerics started condemning the film. He admits the film has been screened only once, in mostly empty Hollywood theatre.