Anti-Islam film crew say they were duped

Sep 14, 2012, 06:44 IST | Agencies

The cast and crew members involved in the making of the movie that has riled much of the Islamic world said they were 'grossly misled,' as inflammatory dialogue was added after filming; express sorrow over resulting violence

Protests over US film The Innocence of Muslims depicting Prophet Mohammed, as a child molesting womaniser provided the cover for an assault on the US embassy in Libya.

The attack left four American diplomats dead, and now the cast and crew of the movie are speaking out. As far as they knew, they were making a completely different movie. But the casting call said actors would be in a ‘historical Arabian Desert adventure film’ titled Desert Warrior.

Fuelling the violence: Activists of an Islamic party burn the US flag during a protest against a film mocking Islam in Dhaka.

The movie’s buffoonish Mohammed was called “Master George” in the script, and references to the prophet — and Islam in general — were dubbed in after it was shot.

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” said a joint statement from 80 people who worked on the movie. “We are 100 per cent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved.”

Yemeni protestors try to break through the US embassy in Sanaa. Pics/AFP

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia said she wouldn’t knowingly be a part of anti-Islam propaganda. “I would never hurt anybody no matter what religion they are,” she said.

After the American diplomats were killed, she called producer-director Sam Bacile, who told her he was “tired of the radical Muslims running around killing everyone.” But Bacile’s deception didn’t end with his cast and crew: He isn’t even Sam Bacile.

He claimed to be an Israeli Jew living in California, but Israel has no record of his citizenship. Steve Klein, an anti-Islamic activist who served as a consultant on the movie, said that “Sam Bacile” is a pseudonym, and the filmmaker isn’t Israeli or Jewish.

Mob storms US embassy in Yemen
Yemeni police shot dead a protestor and wounded five others when they opened fire on a crowd attempting to storm the US embassy to protest a film mocking Islam, a security official said. The shooting came as protestors, chanting “O, messenger of Allah... O, Mohammed,” launched a second charge on the complex which they had stormed earlier but were ejected by the security forces. Some protestors said they saw three vehicles being torched by demonstrators after they gained access to the compound through an unguarded security gate.

‘I have a hole in my heart’
The mother of slain US ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens, has spoken of her loss, saying her son’s death has left her with a ‘hole in her heart’. Mary Commanday said that although she feels animosity towards the attackers, her son would want his work to continue in Libya. “He did love what he did, and did a very good job with it,” she said. I sure do feel animosity toward those nuts who got in there and did this, (but) it had nothing to do with the politics of Libya. They were not insurgents, they were Islamic fanatics.”

US consulate in Berlin partially evacuated after suspicious delivery
German emergency services evacuated the visa section of the United States consulate in Berlin on Thursday after an employee felt difficulty breathing when opening a passport handed to her by a visitor, police said. The visitor was believed to be an Albanian man who said he was applying for a US visa, said police, adding that workers at the consulate later returned to their posts. The alarm came amid attacks on the US embassy and consulate buildings across the Middle East.  

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