Offensive anti-Islam comments dubbed on film, reports BBC
LOS ANGELES, Sept 13 — New information is emerging over the origins of an anti-Islamic video, which is at the centre of violent anti-American protests in Egypt and Libya, which has also revealed that the most offensive remarks were dubbed onto the movie, reports the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
A film was shot in the US, and was shown at a small cinema in Hollywood at the end of June. But it is the clips posted to YouTube, translated into Arabic, which appear to have sparked these protests, according to the BBC report.
Several Malaysian groups have protested against the movie and some groups are planning to march to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow after Friday prayers to demonstrate against the US-made film.
The video first appeared online on July 1, posted in English by someone using the pseudonym “sambacile”.
It was very badly made and cheaply produced, with poor acting and little in the way of storyline, according to the report headlined “On the trail of mystery Muhammad filmmaker” by Alastair Leithead.
“The most offensive comments about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad had been quite obviously dubbed onto the soundtrack afterwards and not spoken by the actors,” said the report.
One actress featured in the film said she had no idea it would be used for anti-Islamic propaganda and condemned it.
Cindy Lee Garcia, from Bakersfield in California, was quoted by the website Gawker as saying she had a small role in the film which she was told would be called “Desert Warriors”, about life in Egypt 2,000 years ago.
She threatened to sue the director for the way the actors were represented.
In fact a film called “The Innocence of Bin Laden” was shown at a small independent cinema on Hollywood Boulevard called the Vine Theatre on June 30.
Someone present, who asked not to be identified, said it lasted about an hour, had very poor production values and attracted just a handful of viewers in the two showings that evening.
He said the man organising the screening was an Egyptian living in America who had hired two Egyptian security guards for the evening.
A man saying he was the writer and director, and claiming to be Sam Bacile, spoke to a number of media outlets on Tuesday, making inflammatory anti-Islamic comments in support of the film.
He claimed to be 52, or 56, depending on the source, and was said to be an Israeli-born Jewish estate agent who had raised millions of dollars from Jewish donors to make the film.
But prior to last week he did not exist online, except as the YouTube posting name, and there was no record of a developer of that name.
The exact origin of the movie and the Internet clip, and the motivation behind its production, remain a mystery, but it appears not to be linked to an Israeli film-maker as was earlier widely reported, including by the BBC.
It was the film’s translation into Arabic and broadcast on Arab TV stations and talk shows which sparked the violence although investigations are now under way in Washington to establish whether the worst of the violence was not spontaneous.
The religious Egyptian TV channel al-Nas showed clips from the video, dubbed into Arabic, and scenes posted online have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.