'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker makes first public comments since being jailed

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Since being jailed for the past two months in Los Angeles after being arrested for violating his supervised release on a fraud conviction, Innocence of Muslims filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has remained mum to the public — until now.

Nakoula told The New York Times through written responses via his lawyer in a story published Sunday that he absolutely does not regret making his anti-Muhammad film. The movie’s bare bones 14-minute trailer on YouTube sparked bloody outrage throughout the Middle East in September.

“I thought, before I wrote this script, that I should burn myself in a public square to let the American people and the people of the world know this message that I believe in,” said Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian born in Egypt. 

Nakoula told the Times that incidents such as the 2009 shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Tex. by a suspected sole gunman of Palestinian-American descent fueled his rage against Muslims, and he claimed that he only wrote the movie’s original script — Desert Warriors — and served as a “cultural consultant.”

Nakoula’s plan, apparently, was to fool the actors in the film into believing they were in a movie about a tribal villain named George. The name “Muhammad” would later be dubbed in any time someone said “George.”

“They had signed contracts before they went in front of any camera, and these contracts in no way prevented changes to the script or movie,” Nakoula told the Times.

As for who posted the film’s incendiary YouTube trailer, which depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a sex crazed, pedophiliac philanderer, Nakoula’s 21-year-old son Abanob Nakoula told the Times he actually did it, and that his father “is not tech-savvy at all.” The younger Nakoula, prompted by his dad, created a Facebook account under the name Sam Bacile before production started, and then created the YouTube account. He told the Times that the movie’s actors were definitely deceived.

“The actors were misled,” said the younger Nakoula. “My dad thought the film would create a stir, and as a precaution for their safety, there are no acting or production credits at the end of the trailer or the full-length movie.”

For more film news

Read more:
California man behind anti-Muslim film sentenced to year in prison
‘Innocence of Muslims’ filmmaker appears in court


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