By now, you’ve heard about the attacks on the Libyan embassy, as well as riots at American embassies in Cairo and Yemen. These riots were apparently a reaction to the film “Innocence of Muslims” which received only a single showing but lives on through youtube clips and the backing of Terry “Dude, you have no Koran” Jones.
For those who have been out of the loop, Daily Dish has the best link round-up I’ve seen. For the moment, I suggest we just ignore the political by-play from camp Romney. It’s notable that the rioters seem to come from the Salafi movement, which seems to be the Muslim equivalent of the Tea Party. There has already been a counter protest against the violence, which is where the above image comes from.
You may remember, all those years ago, the anger stirred up by Salman Rushdie’s novel “Satanic Verses.” One of the most frustrating things was that the novel wasn’t actually an attack on Islam, but was frequently misinterpreted. Even President George H.W. Bush criticized Salman Rushdie for insulting Muslims, when he’d done no such thing.
In this case, there’s no such problem: “Innocence of Muslims” is intentionally insulting and provocative. It’s also really, really bad. Gail Collins reports that, “The trailer looks as though it was made by a 13-year-old boy with access to a large supply of fake beards.” The New York Post, not a paper given to soothing troubled waters, screamed “Burn this movie!”
Based on the 13-minute trailer posted on YouTube, the mysterious anti-Islamic hate “movie” that provoked protests should never have been made — it’s not only the most offensive but the most thoroughly inept piece of “filmmaking’’ I’ve had the misfortune to watch in 30 years of reviewing films. [...] Not only is the depiction of Mohammed as a sex-mad killer enough to enrage Muslims, but every aspect of this production is so amateurish that nobody in their right mind would let him within 500 yards of movie equipment.
Mysterious is right. Some of the readers at Joe.My.God recognized one of the actors in the trailer as a sometimes gay porn actor. Joe reached out to him and got a confused response:
i can tell you i auditioned for a movie called Desert Storm that was about Ancient Warriors. My character was called Sampson on the paper with a few lines I got each day upon arriving on set. We never saw a full script or any lines after the day we shot them. Many questions were asked regarding absurdity of lines and situations. Sam the producer who I believed to be, but not certain as Egyptian. His reply would always to work with what we were given as he wrote the script.
Weird. The supposed producer goes by the name Sam Bacile, and no one seems to know anything about him. There’s some hints that he might actually be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian in California with a shadey past, but there’s no way to be certain. According to folks like On The Media, it appears that most of the lines that reference anything specific about Islam are poor quality post production dubs. Since some observers thing that attacks in Libya might have been planned rather than a spontaneous riot, it’s not surprising that some people are considering conspiracy theories.