The writer/director of Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Islam movie that provoked deadly riots and demonstrations in the Middle East when a 13-minute trailer appeared on the Internet in September 2012, has been released from a California halfway house after serving almost a year in detention for probation violation. Though Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Mark Basseley Youssef, a Coptic Christian who emigrated from Egypt, feels horrible for what happened — “I felt I did a big mistake,” he says. “Some people died because of my movie” — he’s moving ahead with projects that will help spread the message that he insists is at the center of his controversial film.
“My movie was not a religious movie,” he says. “It’s a political movie against terrorism, which has a root. We have to dig; we have to dig the root out to be terrorism free. Believe me, I grow up in this culture and I know how they think. That’s why I try to deliver my information. Somebody get mad, so what.”
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