Why Are All the Religious References in "Innocence of Muslims" Dubbed? [UPDATED]

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 12:08 PM

I had been avoiding watching the inflammatory video posted on YouTube that has sparked anger and violence in Egypt and Libya this week (I had no interest in giving the nonsensical film any more attention than it has already been getting). But we are a media analysis show, and here at OTM we started doing some of our own digging into how this little known movie by a guy in California managed to get the attention of people on the other side of the world. As part of that research, one of my colleagues asked me to compare the original English trailer with a version dubbed in Arabic. Clips of the Arabic version had been shown on Egyptian television, and we were trying to see if the translation was accurate. From the clips that I saw, the translations seemed fine, but what I discovered was far more interesting than an inaccurate translation.

One thing that is immediately evident from watching the nearly 14-minute long trailer for the film is how low the production quality is. I mean really, it is unbelievable that this movie could have cost anywhere near the reported $5 million that it took to make it. Because the production value is so atrociously low, the terrible audio and dubbing just seems par for the course. But on further inspection I noticed something: seemingly every reference to the religion of Islam in the trailer is dubbed over in post production.

If you watch closely, you can see that when the actors are reading parts of the script that do not contain Islam-specific language, the audio from the sound stage is used (the audio that was recorded as the actors were simultaneously being filmed). But anytime the actors are referring to something specific to the religion (the Prophet Muhammed, the Quran, etc.) the audio recorded during filming is replaced with a poorly executed post-production dub. And if you look EVEN closer, you can see that the actors’ mouths are saying something other than what the dub is saying.

For example, at 2:53, the voiceover says “His name is Muhammed. And we can call him The Father Unknown.” In this case, the whole line is dubbed, and it appears the actor is actually saying, “His name is George (?). And we can call him The Father Unknown.” I assume the filmmakers thought they were being slick, thinking that dubbing the whole line instead of just the name would make it more seamless and less noticeable to the viewer. But once you start to look for these dubs, it’s hard to see anything else.

There are countless other examples throughout the trailer (you can see some of them below), and I imagine throughout the full length film as well. But why would the filmmaker do this? I can't help but wonder if the actors involved in the project were told what kind of film they were making. If you remove all the references to Islam in the trailer, the movie reads like some cheesy Arabian Nights story, and it is quite possible that that is all the actors thought they were doing. In a world where the cartoon depiction of the Prophet Muhammed can spark riots, it seems plausible that an actor would not want to be involved in a project that so blatantly offends a whole religion (and whether or not you are Muslim, it is evident that this film is meant to be offensive). Perhaps the filmmakers thought they would have a problem getting people to sign on to such a project. This is just my own theory put forth after watching the trailer, but I would be curious to know from the actors themselves.

Here are just some of the many instances of poor dubbing we found:

1:25: The Islamic Egyptian police arrested 1400 christians.

2:30: His name is Mohammad. And we can call him “the father unknown.”

3:03: Mohammad! Mohammad the bastard! Your lady summons you!

5:14: I’ll help you, Khadija. I’ll make a book for him. It will be a mix of some version from the Torah, and some versions from the New Testament, and mix them into false verses.

6:30: Mohammad is Allah [sic] messenger, and the Koran is our constitution!

8:25: [not dubbed] It is not enough to believe in one God. [dubbed] You must say “God and Mohammad, his messenger.” Now, go read the Koran.

9:04: Is your Mohammad a child molester?

10:27: …[not dubbed] And in all my young life [dubbed] I have not seen such a murderous thug as Mohammad.

(On a personal note, as an American, a Libyan a Muslim, and a human being I am appalled by the violent reaction to the film. The movie is disgusting, offensive, and clearly intended for no other reason than to anger people, and it is unfortunate that there were some out there who took the bait. While in Libya this past summer, I had the opportunity to meet Ambassador Stevens on a couple of occasions and the man was nothing but kind, warm and welcoming. He seemed genuinely excited to be working in Libya at such a historic moment, and eager to help the nation transition into a democracy. That he and other members of his staff had to lose their lives over such stupidity is tragically senseless.)

UPDATE: Adrian Chen over at Gawker says they found one of the film's actresses. She confirms that they didn't know what the movie was really about, and says the whole thing "makes [her]sick."


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Comments [102]

ssemakula Noah from Uganda

Had never watched this, but..........it was the most foolish of all movies I've ever watched, done by punks. Am no religious, but I feel, it was silly producing such junk!

Oct. 12 2013 01:32 AM
Jim Kelly

Who knew Ashton Kutcher had such dramatic range?

Feb. 17 2013 10:53 PM
wg from USA

The idea that you would finish the piece with the notion and prevailing propaganda from the White House and Obama Regime is the most troubling bit of your story.

"That he and other members of his staff had to lose their lives over such stupidity is tragically senseless."

This statement is a complete and utter false notion that in some way Chris Stevens and the others who died in Libya were directly or indirectly related to this stupid scapegoat movie is doing nothing more than furthering the propaganda that someone other than the Obama Administration is responsible for their deaths. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please stop making such assertions, they are patently false.

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Feb. 15 2013 02:42 AM
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Jan. 25 2013 06:27 PM
lung from India

Whenever I asked a person are you a muslim? I feel that I am offending that person, because the whole world knows that all good Muslims are terrorist.

Jan. 12 2013 04:47 AM
Premier Visas from London

I have watched that video. It describes about many useful topics in it on immigration and so on. Premier Visas

Jan. 11 2013 05:35 AM
Reverend Gary Davis from The World

' Although I'm still a Muslim, I'm not here tonight to discuss my religion. I'm not here to try and change your religion. I'm not here to argue or discuss anything that we differ about, because it's time for us to submerge our differences and realize that it is best for us to first see that we have the same problem, a common problem, a problem that will make you catch hell whether you're a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a Muslim, or a nationalist. Whether you're educated or illiterate, whether you live on the boulevard or in the alley, you're going to catch hell just like I am. We're all in the same boat and we all are going to catch the same hell from the same man. He just happens to be a white man. All of us have suffered here, in this country, political oppression at the hands of the white man, economic exploitation at the hands of the white man, and social degradation at the hands of the white man.

Now in speaking like this, it doesn't mean that we're anti-white, but it does mean we're anti-exploitation, we're anti-degradation, we're anti-oppression. And if the white man doesn't want us to be anti-him, let him stop oppressing and exploiting and degrading us. Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with the man. If the late President Kennedy could get together with Khrushchev and exchange some wheat, we certainly have more in common with each other than Kennedy and Khrushchev had with each other.' - Malcolm X

Jan. 07 2013 02:00 PM
Reverend Gary Davis from garydavis1972@hotmail.com

'Do not judge a religion on the actions of a few.'

The few could also mean the majority, why can't we hate the white Americans because of the lynching of Jesse Washington? Why can't we hate the Germans because of the Nazis?

Stop generalizing people.

Jan. 07 2013 01:57 PM

Hi as i am new here ,pls dont mind my command on english is not that much good .so i read the discussion here .i want to share my feelings , that in the world there are so many religions exist and according to all holy books human must have to respect all religions .now the term terrorism its a different and very bad thing on earth .if we say that one particular religion and all innocent people belongs to that religion are responsible for terrorism and all are terrorist then its so bad thing .
According to me there are some persons who dont have there souls and they do sins and all community has to suffer for that .terrorists do bomb blast , violence , human killing .and the all innocent people of that particular religion face hate and alligations of whole world which is bad.
So just worship your religion and god respect all religion never disrespect innocent people coz if there souls get hurt then almighty god will never forgive our sins .so hate terrorists never relate religion with terrorism hate them dont hate all innocents.all innocents of hindu, muslim,sikh and christian are my friends .live life with love not with feeling of hate .then you will see real heaven on earth every where .love you all .Sory if i hurts some ones feelings just forgive me like you forgive your brother.

Jan. 05 2013 06:04 AM
Sir David

Has anyone seen this film yet ?
No .
Reason -the film was never made . Trailer made , money for film yup that was there once . It was all a great con . One of the best ever .
Will the "investors " complain . No way either they are happy with what happened or too scared to say anything .

Dec. 07 2012 03:41 AM
burke from US

Muslim run right into the trap of proving Islam preaches violence.

If someone quotes violent statements in Islam's original source references, jihadists rush to threaten and do violent acts to silence the speakers.

Hundreds of calls to violence in Islam's sources texts tell Muslims that the kafirs are evil and that hunting season is open.

Dec. 02 2012 09:19 AM
Sir Doctor Amadi (jr) JP,NMS from Nigeria

Peace to u all,we muslimsAgainstterror.com,condemn Killing of innocent people in the movie releted mob violence.THE violence is not in accordance with Islam and does not represent Muslims.WE AL-ISLAM(PEACE) in Nigerian and the Ahlulbayt families of Islam,does not support what Anti-ISLAM is doing in the world today.ISLAM IS PEACE,LOVE,MERCY AND TOTALLY SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF ALMIGTH GOD (ALLAH).WE OFFER OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF ALL INNOCENT PEOPLE KILLED IN THE MOB VIOLENCE AND STAND WITH THEM IN SOLIDARITY DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.MAY ALLAH GUIDE AND PROTECT THEM. Salam,SIR DOCTOR AMADI (JNR) JP,NMS

Nov. 04 2012 11:01 PM
Sir Doctor Amadi (jr) JP,NMS from Nigeria

Peace to u all,we muslimsAgainstterror.com,condemn Killing of innocent people in the movie releted mob violence.THE violence is not in accordance with Islam and does not represent Muslims.WE AL-ISLAM(PEACE) in Nigerian and the Ahlulbayt families of Islam,does not support what Anti-ISLAM is doing in the world today.ISLAM IS PEACE,LOVE,MERCY AND TOTALLY SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF ALMIGTH GOD (ALLAH).WE OFFER OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF ALL INNOCENT PEOPLE KILLED IN THE MOB VIOLENCE AND STAND WITH THEM IN SOLIDARITY DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.MAY ALLAH GUIDE AND PROTECT THEM. Salam,SIR DOCTOR AMADI (JNR) JP,NMS

Nov. 04 2012 11:01 PM
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Nov. 01 2012 05:00 AM
Rawann from texas

they are losing their wrong minds!
they were bad anyway, but this!!!!
that was a bit TOO MUCH FARTHER!!!!!!
they should be arrested!

Oct. 10 2012 08:04 PM
Dr. Wadud/Amera Sauda

All praise is to the one to whom all Dignity, Honor, and Glory are due;
The unique one with perfect attributes, he begets not, nor is he begotten, He has no equal, and he is the almighty and the omnipotent one. He sent his messengers and prophets to guide humanity towards monotheism to worship him alone. He Allah is the only one worthy of worship and prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him i.e. (s.a.w.) was sent to warn them of the eternal dire consequences of polytheism associating partners with the oneness of Allah. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of the prophets and messengers, especially on prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) the last of the prophets and peace and blessings on all who follow righteousness until the day of recompense.
A Muslim never lacks proofs about the purity and truthfulness of his religion and there is no doubt that prophet Muhammad is the last and final messenger. All mighty God shall determine the fate of all in the next world.
Woe! To those who are wicked, ignorant and disrespectful towards the prophets and messengers of God.
We the entire Islamic World are absolutely outraged and appalled with the Slanderous, Filthy, and Vile remarks that this wicked man has associated to the best of mankind (i.e. ) Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.
All mighty Allah says: in the Quran Ayah : 33-57
“Verily those who annoy Allah and his Messenger Muhammad s.a.w. Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the hear after, and he has prepared for them a Humiliating Torment.”
Ayah: 33-58
“And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly,( they bear on themselves) the crime of Slander and plain Sin.”

Dr. Wadud/Amera Sauda

Sep. 29 2012 12:52 AM
Lasse R

- All you muslims saying: "The people who watched the movie and created it is going to die soon..." Well that just proves the movie right.. Be polite, humane and civilised that I know that you can be?... Really.. I wouldn't say that people should die cus a movie.. Not even if they called me stuff and said stuff about me through a whole movie... Really... Just think about what you are fucking doing..! Doing such stuff makes people more into saying that muslims are bad.. BECAUSE YOU SAY: "DIE FILM MAKERS"... Srsly??.. STOP IT!.. Help yourselves.


Sep. 28 2012 02:40 AM
sally from oakland

what is allah the one is going to do to you who made this video!!!!! just be patient!!

Sep. 23 2012 11:13 PM
Kdison from Brasil

The movie has only 13:51 min.?

Sep. 23 2012 08:54 PM

I am amused by a previous commenter's call to "boycot American and Israel made product because we will be answerable on the day of judgement". That is a stunning contradiction. For people of faith, it seems silly that the all powerful Creator of our oceans and mountains would need any person to murder, attack or boycott on his behalf. God does not even need Fox News to defend him when his name is left out of the Democratic Party's platform or the winter holidays. To rely on the actions of man to defend God is to discredit God's own power and final judgement.

S.A. makes a great point that the people that hear the fully dubbed Arabic version are oblivious to the manipulative partial dubs in English. US media consumers may also not recognize that the Middle East media consumer is fed a lot of state produced content. So it is reasonable for the US State Department to distance themselves from the video by saying that the US government did not produce this.

But really... I have no sympathy for the duped actors. They should have known from the poor production quality and the lack of any sex acts that there was something terribly wrong here.

Sep. 22 2012 01:04 PM
HUSEN UDAIPURI from Udaipur,Rajasthan,India.

The producer may give the best teachings of Islam to the world.May Allah forgive you as a first mistake and hope you will not repeat the same in future.

Sep. 22 2012 10:14 AM
shoube from USA

Shame on you for making this movie? You have to deal with ALlaH (GOD) When you die on this one so many people have die, do to your movie, and it was made poorly, sHaM on YoU..................

Sep. 21 2012 10:48 AM
Avoda Aravit from Richmond CA

The movie trailer, like Religulous, perfectly accomplishes its goal, which is to prove that Islam is a violent religion.

That's a legitimate goal. If Islam wishes to prove itself basically peaceful, the riots have to stop. It's more than just a small percentage of Muslims feeding these riots, which puts the onus on Islamic religous leaders, imams and others, to preach peace more than war.

I understand Islamic intellectuals(!)are now trying to show that Islam does not preach violence in the Koran, and that the preaching of violence means that religion and politics should not be mixed.

That doesn't mean morality and politics need be separated, because politics IS agreed morality. Religion isn't the only source for morality, a truth much missed.

Sep. 20 2012 06:46 PM
Erik Jacobsen from Norway

Here is a link ti the original script: http://gawker.com/5944290/here-is-the-original-script-for-innocence-of-muslims/

There can be no doubt that the actors knew they were making a satirical movie about Muhammed. The script is full of references to the Quran, hadiths and biographies of Muhammed, like this:

"-George spins all around but cannot find anybody else there. GEORGE Who... who are you? GABRIEL (v.o.) I am Gabriel and you are George, Messenger of the Islamic nation. George puts his hands together in front of him. GEORGE Praise be to Allah. GABRIEL (v.o.) Do not speak. Only listen. George looks up to the sky and opens his arms wide, awaiting the message he is expecting to receive."


He might simply have changed his mind. The poor quality of the film might be intentionally, i suspect. The Black Adder- movies wasn't realistically either.

Sep. 20 2012 06:22 PM
condor from Paris

"Innocence of Muslims" is a great movie ! ..and there is some very great acting in this little low budget production.

Sep. 20 2012 04:37 AM
Amin from Eth

We live whith our dean and we dea for our dean plse all muslim reda for jihad.

Sep. 19 2012 02:29 PM
Claire from South Africa

Beautifully written and researched Sarah. I agree wholeheartedly and as neither Muslim or practising Christian I still feel it's heartbreaking that a film would be produced with the sole purpose of hurting and angering others. I'm deeply saddened also by the response to the film and the violence it's caused; the US should not be blamed for the film, and quite possibly neither the crew or actors on set. The producer, whoever it may be, is ignorant and will be judged eventually. But let's just pray that peace is restored amongst the rest of us before any additional damage is caused.

Sep. 19 2012 07:25 AM
sharaf from Arlington ,VA

As a Muslim i knew about this bc the quran said in sorat Al umran vers 186:
((You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah - indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.))
so whenever and wherever it happend it will make me more beliver in the Quran and profet Mohamed. Taking the lives of innocent human beings have nothing to do with this is a shame on musllims around the world

Sep. 18 2012 10:27 PM

I personally feel that showing disrespect towards others faith shows how insecure ur with ur own faith , to prove urself great u do not need to disgrace others.

Sep. 18 2012 07:04 AM
Ben B from Germany

I'm anxious to learn more about the efforts of the film's producers to shape perceptions by smearing California Jews as its source. It's not just a terrible movie; it was presented in a way to manipulate gross prejudices.

I sense some hesitancy by the media in going after this angle. I wonder if a cause is not want to cause further unrest and trouble for Coptic Christians who are also suffering from this outrage.

I hope OTM and other media cover this aspect.

Sep. 18 2012 06:41 AM
kashif from Yemen

@ All. I do support protest but not the violent protest on this movie. Now can you tell me,
1- Is killing of innocent Muslim children, women and elderly people is justified in the name of fight against terrorism?
2- How many WMD (weapons of mass destruction) were discovered in Iraq?
3- Over the last ten years what is the cost of military arsenal being used in this so called war on terrorism?
4- Is world more safe now?

Sep. 18 2012 02:45 AM
James from Beverly Hills, CA

Nobody has seen the Desert Warrior 3 but who dubbed the movie adding offensive to islamists voice-overs then Morris Sadek translated it, sent it to islamist media?

Sep. 17 2012 03:01 PM
PKN from Georgia

I'm not trying to upset anyone, but really this is not something to get upset about. In fact those that are getting upset and killing foks etc are just playing into the hands of those that made the movie in the first place. Fuel the fire baby.

I'm Catholic, yet I can watch movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail or the movie Dogma by Kevin Smith and not freak out and kill someone.

You know even God has a sense of humour.


Sep. 17 2012 01:36 PM

The people in the Mid East that are using this trailer to push their agenda are just as bad as the person that made the trailer. They are showing Mohammed in a bad light by showing parts of the trailer on mid east news shows. It is like someone ranting about cussing on broadcasts while using profanity in their rant.

Sep. 16 2012 05:06 PM
Indonesian Guy

the video is sooo stupid and cheap and poor quality reminds me of some lame porn films. No one is ever gonna watch this shite, even a christian exfremist. And what makes it more stupid is riots over this. The world has gone nuts.

Sep. 16 2012 03:35 PM
John Perkins from Texas, USA

The video is a complete fraud and most everyone has been duped and should feel very stupid. No movie exists outside of this 13-14 minute version as no one has ever seen it. Everything said about this video was a lie. It was not made by Jews or anyone from Israel. It did not cost $5 million. The producer is a convicted con artist, currently on probation in the U.S. for fraud, and has about 12 different fake names. All of the anti-Islamic dialog was BADLY dubbed AFTER the video was shot and the poor actors in the video never say these things and they thought they were making a TOTALLY DIFFERENT MOVIE called Desert Warrior. Islam is a peaceful religion and the violence in the name of Islam is more offensive to God than anything said in this fraud of a video.

Sep. 16 2012 03:28 PM
AU Hajji Nigeria from Nigeria

Our calling to muslims all over the world we must boycot American and Israel made product because we will be answerable on the day of judgement for actions and inactions we take when the holy prophet was insulted

Sep. 16 2012 04:17 AM
manzoor ilahi from kashmir india

it is american idiocy... truth and morality cant be flanked by the ephemeral paste of christian propaganda... islam is universal, makg an abuse of it is to abuse yourself...

Sep. 16 2012 03:23 AM

No MOVIE, no matter what its motive, no matter how intentionally heinous or insulting or sacriligious it may be, justifies taking the lives of innocent human beings. Period.

Sep. 15 2012 05:00 PM

Am I living in 2012? I thought I was but it feels like I'm living in history book of a time centuries old when people fought and killed each other in order to establish their particular belief as the one true belief. Now we have muliple scientific disciplines refuting the claims made in these foundational dicuments and historians revealing information about their formation that were the same texts newly discovered today under modern standards of reliability and validity they would surely be discounted. People are out on the streets across the world killing people, vandalising property and setting fire to the. The people in the streets are calling for the beheading of people guilty of nothing more violent that insulting someone no longer alive but worshipped by living. When is our species going to grow up?

Sep. 15 2012 06:15 AM

The fact is that the irresponsible act of an egocentric moron (that knowingly create an offensive film) is the cause of all these tragic deaths. He is absolutely responsible for the death of all these innocent victims and should be prosecuted for his violent and selfish act.

Sep. 15 2012 05:14 AM
grant morrison from bangalore india

I condemn for the death of american ambassadors at libya..i am unhappy with the things happening around the globe..


some people might be wrong but their wrongs shouldn’t be pointed towards the complete religion..

Sep. 15 2012 12:51 AM
R Ogle from Oklahoma USA

I watched the cheesy movie and can't believe that anyone would be truly upset by such a piece of poorly written, poorly acted, poorly directed and edited video. I agree that the movie was only used as an excuse to "kill" the Americans and show "Islamic" power to mark the 9-11 anniversary. My question is this, I would love to see true unbiased scholars watch the video and point out the errors of it's propaganda, if there are errors. Frankly, I would love to see an accurate portrayal of Mohammad's life based on historical, documented information. I have read that there was not an Quran written by Mohammad and was actually pieced together 150 years later and that his bride admitted that when Mohammad died a goat ate some of the works that were stored under her bed. This information could also be propaganda but it would be nice to see valid unbiased scholars tell the real story of his life. In my opinion, if you can not handle someone's opinions about your religion and you raise up in anger because someone says something vile about your ideals or religion, then you are afraid of the chance they might be right and you are wrong. Being a bully against someone's comments does not make you right, it just makes you a bully. Which brings me to this: why did they kill the people they murdered? They were not the writers, actors, producers or distributors of this video, they did not endorse viewing the movie or it's ideals, they had no part of the entire situation, they were just an easy "American" target, so how is that supposed to be understood? Are all American's targets for anyone's actions and beliefs towards Muslims? This makes no sense to me at all. Because some terrorist are Muslim, are we to all hate Muslims and punish any that we can find for other's actions? I think not, so why isn't it the same for Americans?

Sep. 15 2012 12:14 AM

Do these people not have jobs or sense? I guess such ignorance knows no bounds. This is SO ridiculous. I bet 99 percent of them have not even seen it. I guess the real question is if they did would they even figure out that this was created to try to evoke a reaction? The film is pitiful. Someone got their 5 mil stolen. He is the one that should be pissed.

Sep. 14 2012 09:22 PM
Bill from Rohnert Park, CA

Almost as sad as the loss of a human life is the fact that people believe they have to kill because some idoits made a horrible film that is full of lies. It's as if becuase someone says something it must be responded to, violently, to protect their beliefs. Are not our beliefs stronger than the words of those who lie?
I believe that the spiritual beings that we look to for our inspiration would simple pray for those that have slandered them.
I pray that someday we grow stronger than our fear, stronger than our hate, stronger than our pride and live and let live. Let us be confident in our beliefs despite what others believe. That is true strenght and faith.

Sep. 14 2012 03:04 PM
The Truthful from Cairo, Egypt

@Basil What endangers not only American lives but all human lives as well, is the brainless crowds so eager for violence at the most ridiculous provocation not by a film, a book or a cartoon but by self-proclaimed messengers of the prophet or god.

Sep. 14 2012 11:54 AM


From The Atlantic: That Anti-Muhammad Film: It's Totally Protected by the 1st Amendment. Neither the mysterious director nor Terry Jones appears to have "shouted fire in a crowded theater." In this interview, Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin explains why.


Sep. 14 2012 09:45 AM
Basil Scaperdas from Bedminster, NJ

Making this anti-Islam movie and making sure it got tranlated into Arabic is just like yelling "fire" in a movie theater. There are limits to free speech and when you put US lives in danger overseas by burning a Koran and publicising it or insulting Islam and publicising it, you are essentially yelling "fire" in a movie theater. It is unreaslistic to expect Arab Muslim sensibilities to change overnight about the tenets of free speech just as it is unrealistic to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater and expect people to ignore you. Either way you are putting US lives in danger. There are limits to free speech and putting lives in danger should be one of the litmus tests.

Sep. 14 2012 09:36 AM
Saminu Sani from Nigeria

They always come with something new to tarnish the image of ISLAM & MUSLIMS.They call us terrorists, peace destroyers etc.But they're the real TERRORISTS even by action.Know it !God has promised to protect his only religion{ISLAM}."MAY THE CURSE OF ALLAH BE UPON THE MAKERS OF THIS FILM & THEIR SUPPORTERS."

Sep. 14 2012 07:30 AM
shafiu from Nigeria from Abuja

well done Sarah.

Sep. 14 2012 06:29 AM
Livinus from Nigeria

There is the posibility that every actor featured would not know the director's motive. He wouldn't likely pre-empt it knowing the eventual consequences. But if he is a Christian, he has caused more harm to christians & America with this depiction mindful of high sensitivity of Muslim faithfuls to their religion.

Sep. 14 2012 03:22 AM
Livinus from Nigeria

There is the posibility that every actor featured would not know the director's motive. He wouldn't likely pre-empt it knowing the eventual consequences. But if he is a Christian, he has caused more harm to christians & America with this depiction mindful of high sensitivity of Muslim faithfuls to their religion.

Sep. 14 2012 03:21 AM
Duane from San Francisco, CA

I don't believe that the actors had no idea they were making an anti-Islam movie...if you listen carefully, the dubbed voices sound identical to the actors' voices. This has got to be a ploy to make it so the actors assign all blame to this fictitious Sam Bacile character, letting them be closeted anti-Islam assholes.

Sep. 14 2012 12:43 AM
edi from east hollywood east

thank you for yr thoughtful, insightful comments.

Sep. 14 2012 12:39 AM
On Topic Civil And Brief from New York

This and similar articles explain a lot. A friend in the entertainment industry noted how the acting is over the top, as if played for laughs. The script with the original lines might have been hilariously ridiculous (perhaps unintentionally), and the actors probably thought they were doing a "Blazing Saddles"-type spoof.

Sep. 13 2012 06:18 PM
Haroon from Doha

if some one has commmented or said insemantic comments, he would have been abused and accused unless he apologise eg.Mel gibson but NOT in this case people will blame muslims and this film maker will start hiding in the shadow of freedom of expression....the film maker and publisher must be brought to justice. at the same time the violence should be condemned in Libya

Sep. 13 2012 06:04 PM
gerald reid

the movie plays out more like a comedy,although in bad taste.there doesnt seen to be any reason or cause for protesting or riots,but i guess muslims have taken the movie seriously.the producer acted irresponsibly in making this film,and should apologize publicly.

Sep. 13 2012 03:01 PM
Gordon from South Pacific

This is a joke manipulated fictional media by a coulp of irank amature diots. Thanks to the www any idiot can say anything any time. Sadly there are millions of gullible people willing to kill anyone given the slightest imaginary reason all in the name of a religion. This is insame behavior.

Sep. 13 2012 12:52 PM

[Several comments removed. Please do not attack other people's religions. Our guidelines are very clear. Stay on topic, be civil, be brief. Those are easy guidelines to adhere to.]

Alex Goldman
Producer, On the Media

Sep. 13 2012 12:29 PM
MEL C. in LA from CA USA

Thank you for your work, and thanks to those who have left thoughtful comments. I would like to point out to a commentator from Nigeria & perhaps others that this film is NOT a Hollywood movie, so "Hollywood censors" have nothing to do with this issue. Virtually the same technology that allows us to write to each other on these blogs, allows ANYONE to post a low-budget film or home-made video on the internet so that other people can see it. Whoever has watched a You Tube clip with pleasure has experienced the positive side of this technology. The negative side is sadly evident right now, in that people's passions can be manipulated by cruel & cynical creatures of hatred who seem to have nothing better to do with their lives than try to fan the flames of their unhappiness & spread it to others. The most negative outcome at the moment is that Americans in the diplomat corps who were trying to help Libya emerge from dictatorship were murdered in the very city they saved from destruction by the dictator. What a horrible outcome! -- and those who were demonstrating against the film were used for cover by the murderers who had already planned the attack -- and those murderers are NOT even on the side of the protesters, since the murderers' philosophy would NEVER allow those people to protest anything if THEY were in charge of the country: they are tyrants, too. [But please don't blame "Hollywood"].

Sep. 13 2012 12:24 PM
Lowenburg from Pennsylvania, USA

Sarah, it is brilliant of you to point out what is revealed by analyzing the production values of the film. Doing so is going to eventually help sort this mess out. Hopefully it will also motivate people worldwide to *Consider the Source* of what they react to without thinking.

I work in the field of education and constantly call students' attention to the importance of carefully analyzing the sources of their information. I intend to use this example with a number of high school World Issues classes who are following this situation with great interest.

Great job, keep going!

Sep. 13 2012 11:08 AM
Basil Scaperdas from Bedminster, NJ

Please do your best to find out who made the film/trailer, who applied the post production anti-Islam dubbing and who created the Arabic version. Most important of all, please do your best to follow the money given for production. This is clearly a "manufactured" Mid-East crisis and its timing around this presidential election gives it a conspiratorial flavor that begs investigation.

Thank you Sarah for the hard work you have applied already.

Sep. 13 2012 10:16 AM
American from Memphis, TN USA

Everyone from around the world needs to wake up! This is a MOVIE! It is FICTION!! No one, regardless of what religion they follow, has the right to murder innocent people using a FICTIONAL MOVIE as an excuse!!

Sep. 13 2012 09:26 AM
Umar from Saudi Arabia

Negative commenters about Islam such as Jitubaba from INDIA and Walter from Alaska, USA who blogged "Do you spend any time looking critically at your own religion's books? Or only at books from religions you are afraid of?" They are the ones who should first read the Quran before making erroneous comments. They seem to forget that a lot of people of their own faith and nationality as myself have read the Quran and as a result, have entered the fold of Islam. I wonder, Walter if the the Quran your saying promotes "terrorist dogma" is the same Quran that says, "If your enemies incline to peace, then incline ye to peace, verily Allah loveth the good doers" Or is it where it says, "The closest of people to you in faith are those who say 'We are Nazariens (true Christians)" Or, "Don't be transgressors (in war) for Allah loves not the transgressors" Or 'Retaliate no more than your enemies have done unto you and do not be agressors" or where it says do not sit with those make mockery of your religion until they cease to do so,(it doesn't say 'kill them' or where it says 'the killing of one innocent human being is as the killing of all humanity, and the saving of one human being is as one has saved the whole of humanity'? What some ignorant Muslims do and what is actually do are two different things.
And is the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) some of you say ordered ruthlessness the same prophet Muhammad whose 'Rules of Engagement in War' are: O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well! Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.Also, there are the numerous Hadeeths (the inspired sayings and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, other than Quran which are the words of God ‘Allah’ Himself) where the Prophet Muhammad establishes animal rights, even to the extent that He orders Muslims not to overburden beasts of labor, and being kind to animals is a reason to get to heaven and mistreating them can land you in Hell as He narrated the story of the religiously faithful woman who ended up in hell for locking a cat up in a room to die of hunger. And when you ride a horse, take to foot and walk enough time for it to rest.
Walter, you really should read your own Bible before you make such unfounded comments without producing proof and those similar your thinking who quote verses of the Quran COMPLETELY out of contexts. Nevertheless, this site may give you some insight into your own Bible in this same regard: (http://www.evilbible.com/Discussion_Forum.htm)

Sep. 13 2012 08:24 AM

Oh man that was brutal and completely ridiculous, couldn't watch more than a few min. The only protest that should have taken place over this nonsense should have been at the directors house for wasteing time and money to make this laughable trash. The fact that protests are taking place over this silly film and are having the ironic effect of giving it credibility ... now thats offensive.

Sep. 13 2012 08:21 AM
Umar from Saudi Arabia

MWnyc, has a very valid point concerning the 'mysterious' Bacile,who I figured from the very beginning was someone of Arab
origin. As an American Sunni Muslim, not withstanding all of the political wrangling and bickering over land in the Middle East, I have to say that it is extremely rare to find a Jew that disparages the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) in such manner which is common in the case of Christian Arabs, Copts and Phalangist Arab Christians in particular, who I've seen to display a vehement hate for Islam. When I talk to a Jew about manners of religion etc. it's usually cordial and as any normal conversation. But when I've spoken on rare occasions with Lebanese Christians and Egyptian Copts,
unfortunately I could see the hate seething from their dull faces. Thus I'm not at all surprised at the great lengths to which this misguided person has gone to make such a ridiculous film which had to have had a lot of peripheral support. On another note, the over reaction by the, for the most part, ignorant masses of Muslims, only serves to give credence to the lies which this filmmaker is trying to portray against the irreproachable and pure last Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). On yet another note(sorry if I come of as a blog troll here) to the one sincere commenter who said Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad as much as Christians love the Prophet Jesus (Peace be upon them)I beg to differ. As a former Christian, I'm amazed as well as saddened greatly at hearing "Christians" even from my own family, constantly curse Christ Jesus (Peace be Upon Him) and tolerate the same on movies and written material, especially when they say (Jesus @#$%%^ Christ) and the like, even as they believe Him to be God. If any Muslim says this about Christ or Moses or John the Baptist or any other prophet of Allah, he will face instant retribution and be escorted to the proper authorities in any Muslim country to be prosecuted. Freedom of speech should have its limits. A point of thought, like one young Saudi man said, "Where are all of those Muslim protesters when they say things about our Prophet Jesus (Peace be upon Him)?"

Sep. 13 2012 07:08 AM
Jitubaba from INDIA

Religious intolerance is part of Islamic teachings. Quoran itself is a book that spreads hatred against kafirs. The attituide of muslims & muslim governments towards non muslims is relfection of quoranic teachings. Look at the conditions of Zoorastrians & Bahais in Iran, Copts in Egypt, Ahamadias, Hindus & Christians in Pakistan, Chakma Buddhists in Bangladesh, Hindus & Hans in malaysia, Hindus in Afganistan, Non muslim Migrants in Saudi Arabia, Darfurs in Sudan. There is not a single muslim majority country in which non muslims enjoy religious freedom.Muslims & Islam has no moral & ethical right to blame the movie.

Sep. 13 2012 07:05 AM
ADAMU Oyanki from Nigeria

Dont the American government have a film sensor board that ediits every movie before public consumption? If they do then, such officers responsible be held accountable. But for the innocent people killed in Libya, it is uncalled for. I would rather suggest that a death penalty b handed down to the producer of this film. Where ever he runs to, if it is in this world, he can never hide. He must die for molesting The Prophet Muhammad may (PBUH). I appreciate my Christian brothers n sisters who have shared their opinion positively on this unruly act by those who don't want peace in this world.

Sep. 13 2012 05:52 AM
asad ullah from Seoul, South Korea

Mohammad(PBUH, along with Jesus(PBUH)and all other prophets are close to the hearts of muslims, than their parents..so what was the purpose of making this film? just to enrage the muslims across the world? had the film maker had good intentions, he would have not been hiding now.

in Islam, killing one innocent person is like killing the whole of humanity.

I request americans to stricly not allow people like this coward film maker and people like Teri jones in their society, for better harmony amongst differnt faiths.

curse be upon this film maker and Teri jones, who are cause of the offending 1.5 billion muslims and cause of the death of 4 innocent diplomats..

Sep. 13 2012 05:07 AM

As an American Christian I am really disgusted by this filthy movie. Jesus said "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31) So, a TRUE Christian would never offend, mock or insult anyone's faith. He also asked us to "love our neighbors as ourselves" (Luke 10:27-28) and said that blessed by God are those who are peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). In no way someone who calls himself a "Christian" can do such a movie or promote it (like Terry Jones) since it violates these teachings of Jesus Christ. Of course this doesn't mean I support the out-of-proportion reaction of those who are calling for the destruction of America and killing innocent people for such a stupid movie. I have seen many insulting depictions of Jesus Christ and it hurts me (Jesus is as dear to us as Muhammad is to Muslims) but that doesn't give me the right to attack embassies and take anyone's life. God is the Almighty and He Himself has all the power to punish those who insult Him and His prophets.

Sep. 13 2012 02:44 AM

If someone insulted my mother I would let them know via words that I was offended. I wouldn't respond with violence and I certainly wouldn't carry out violent actions against people totally unconnected with the person who insulted my mother. The fact that some people can't grasp this rather simple concept is truly sad and astounding.

Sep. 13 2012 01:51 AM
Xian from Kelseyville

I'm not sure investigative journalism is the right direction to move in here- sounds like more details coming out could result in retaliation against innocents as MWnyc mentions.

Sep. 13 2012 01:47 AM
Abdullah from Muncie

I am a Muslim American and this low quality move is really insulting. My faith teaches me to respect other religion. I have been married to a Christian woman for the past 20 years and will grow old together, God willing. Obviously, this person (producer) does not respect other people belief and faith. What he is doing is like going to black community and yelled "N" word. Then he got assaulted by a few angry people. Then pretend to be a victim. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is very dear to our heart. Every muslim love him (prophet Muhammad)more than his or her life just like each one of us love our mothers. If somebody insult your mother, would stand still and smile and you will response with anger?

Sep. 13 2012 12:06 AM
kuldeep from India

Osama must be gloating in his watery grave. If a movie is made in USA and it offends your religion so every american is wazib ul katal. Envoy had nothing noting to do with that sick movie but he was assaulted his dead body descrated. Where will this madness take us. I have not read koran but please enlighten me what is punishment for killing innocent person or what level of sin it is.

Sep. 12 2012 11:51 PM
Gosman from New Zealand

I'm interested why people can't treat this just as a pretty poor attempt at a movie with an anti-Islam agenda and forget about it. Any religion whose followers are thin skinned enough to worry about this sort of action might need the majority of the followers to stop and ask themselves perhaps they need to step back and ponder what really is important in the world. Noone is entitled to go through life without their beliefs, (or lack there of), being challenged or even insulted. Trying to argue otherwise shows an intolerant nature in my opinion.

Sep. 12 2012 11:28 PM
Tom Keegan from Los Angeles

I'm a professional voice director, and I can tell you for sure that many of those dubbed lines are not the same voice as the actor. Some of them even have a different accent.

Sep. 12 2012 11:14 PM

All I know is that the person who made this movie did it to manipulate and incite violence...What is sad is that now he is hiding like a cowardly dog!!

Its funny thou, how one of the girls in the movie has come forward...At least she has courage unlike the person who made the movie....

This person who made the move should be found and dealt with....

My condolences to those who have past on from this mess that the cowardly dog created!..I hope he is proud of himself now, the coward!!

When are we going to start respecting other people's religions?...

Sep. 12 2012 10:43 PM


Sep. 12 2012 10:36 PM
Ken Westmoreland

Thanks for this - I saw the various clips of the film and found them as amateurish as I did tasteless, but couldn't quite figure why it looked and sounded as bad as it did.

If English speakers couldn't pick up on this, then it think what it would be like when the film was dubbed in Arabic. Arabic-speaking audiences would assume that the dialogue was a translation of what the actors were originally saying, when it wasn't.

'George' was the original name of 'Mohammed' in the castcall. It's a bit like casting someone in The Life of Brian as 'Brian', and then dubbing it so everyone's talking about Jesus - only worse.

Sep. 12 2012 10:13 PM
ark from NJ USA

If the actors didn't know about the religious nature, why are the overdubs in the same voice as the original?

Granted the levels, echo, background noise is absent... but the actor's voice is the same.

Sep. 12 2012 09:34 PM

I think it is important to remember a few Muslims protested/killed Americans because a movie made by one person of indefinite identity and a few Americans (who may have not realized what they were doing?). This has nothing to do with ALL Muslims; it has nothing do with ALL Americans. We shouldn't blame Islam/All Muslims for the violence in Libya any more than we should blame all Americans for the grotesquely disrespectful and offensive film.

Sep. 12 2012 09:31 PM
Huzaifa Sani Ilyas from Nigeria

Nobody wouldn't react when his religion is insulted unless he can't have any means by laying his hands on an object that can work as a weapon, except a person who doesn't have good faith or his weaker belief. People may be silent when they are insulted, politically, culturally, economically, socially, etc. But religiously, it is hard to find any silence.
Over the years, Muslims and Islam have been mocked in different forms, causing them the pain of insulting their beloved prophet, the most respected, cherished, admired, role modal by every true Muslim in the world, but only ended up with the pain in their hearts. I wonder, what does it benefit a person from to defame or abuse another person's religion or sacred people! I'm a Muslim, and in our religion, we are warned not to abuse or insult any of those who disbelieved in our religion much less they insult our God unknowingly, furiously and antagonistically. So, all this, is an indication for peaceful co-existence with mutual respect to one another and with respect to all our different religions... I never heard or watched anything such as defaming any religion by Muslim. And I have never seen any Muslim doing the same to Jesus [Isa] (P.B.H). In our religion, anybody who doesn't believe in Jesus (P.B.H) is not a Muslim at all.
Anybody considers his religion as pure and true, so, this can not be an exception to Islam. So, it is hurting, agonising, and lugubrious for a Christian to hear a Muslim abusing the Bible, or Mathew, or Luke, or John, etc. Likewise it is the same thing for a Muslim to hear a Christian insulting the Quran, or Muhammad (P.U.H) or his companions. These may escalate violence and instigate people to take arms and to kill because religion is powerful as it makes a person capable of doing everything on it even the thing seems impossible. Let's live a world where we will respect one another's religion as to live in harmony and understanding. So, whether the film is dubbed or not, it is not worth releasing and the censorship of the Hollywood would be investigated and the screen maker would be brought to book.

Sep. 12 2012 09:22 PM
Patrick Riott

This film deeply offends me
because of how ridiculously horrible it is.

Sep. 12 2012 09:14 PM
Walter from Alaska, USA

To the commentator "Salah from Mn". You pretend to want to educate people about Islam, but the motto of the site you link to is "Islam's Terrorist Dogma in Muhammed's own Words". What religion do you follow, that teaches you to promote silliness? Do you spend any time looking critically at your own religion's books? Or only at books from religions you are afraid of?

Sep. 12 2012 08:46 PM
Sal from Usa

After I watch small part of the movie, I realized how stupid and silly it is. Is the Middle Eastern people that stupid to be offended by such trash or is an execuse to distract from the actual tragic events of 911.
Let us watch 911 of next year to see which YouTube that will be used to distract.
The entire game of politicizing religion is very dangerous, and I peal to reasonable people to walk away from it.

Sep. 12 2012 08:30 PM
Salah from Mn

Thank for this article. From your name you must be a Muslim, and hopefully you have some knowledge about your faith. Your summary about the events in the life of Mohammed is accurate as we learned in our Arabic and islamic religious classes.
People got offended by facts they don't like about their faith or don't other to know.
The life of prophet Mohamed (none political) can be found all over the Internet.
As for the move, people should adapt to living in a world where your views or religion is not immune from ridicules and insult.
Calling Christians " worshippers of the cross" is as bad as saying prophet Mohammed had many wives or killed people during his many invasions of other Arabian tribes.
We live in an open world and we all should rise above stupid movie like the one you described. Human Life is more important than book, movie, or any religion.

Sep. 12 2012 08:11 PM

Max Escolar asks in his comment: When do Muslims call their deity "God"? I have always heard that the omnipotent entity they worship being called "Allah".
What incedible ignorance.
Muslims always call their deity God, because they believe in the single, omnipotent, omnipresent, merciful and compassionate one God. Mr. Escolar should be advised to go to Malta, which is home to a fiercely Roman Catholic nation. The Maltese language has been greatly influenced by the Arabic, and so in their churches, the name the Maltese Christians use to call "their deity" is Allah.
"Allah" means simply this: one indivisible God. Muslims have not "their deity" as opposed to any other deity, because they believe that God is either one or false, just like the Christians who believe in the same one God.
Why must one explain such obvious things? And how much does it tell about not just ignorance, but plain prejudice?
(Incidentally, I am not a Muslim myself.)

Sep. 12 2012 08:00 PM

Just a thought here... If we're trying to guess at the authorship (or original content) of this thing, the crucial moment might actually be around 1:40, where the doctor character complains about U.S. authorities "wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers money," maybe suggesting the original script was from a far-right source, probably of a domestic origin...

Sep. 12 2012 06:38 PM
David Skinner

I have been teaching about the history of Islam for 45 years. As a graduate student my professors who specialized in Islamic studies included a Coptic Egyptian, a Lebanese Roman Catholic, a German Jew, an Israeli Jew and an American Jew. All were highly respectful of Islam and of Muhammad. Our texts were written by scholars of every faith and by some who would be considered secularists. None of the rubbish presented in this film is accurate, and the distortions are vile and possibly would qualify as a hate crime. The film is pathetically unprofessional but unfortunately led to the deaths of talented and courageous American diplomats. I hope the perpetrators of these crimes, both the film makers and those who attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, are brought to justice.

Sep. 12 2012 06:15 PM


Thank you so much for this, it clarified some things for me, and above all May God reward you for speaking out about the senseless violence.

Ma- Salaam,


Sep. 12 2012 06:00 PM

The instances of dubbing were genuinely all I could focus on, so I'm very glad I wasn't alone. Just found this on CNN's This Just In:

[Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET] A statement released on the behalf of the 80 cast and crew members of "Innocence of Muslims," a film that reportedly prompted Tuesday protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, indicates that they are not happy with the film and were misled by the producer.

"The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose," the statement says. "We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."

Sep. 12 2012 05:53 PM
Bri from England

Nice work - hopefully it will be widely propogated and take the sting out of these clips.
It is not a $5 million dollar film - perhaps $50,000. It is below the standards that an average ability community college film and media studies student might produce.
The acting is so bad as to be weird: for the main part they seem people who have never risen to the dizzy heights of an amateur stage play: more like people having a go at acting at a corporate weekend - hence the suggestion that they are members of a congregation roped in seems plausible.
As is pointed out, there seem to be 2 parts of quite different movies tacked together.
Might this be all have been a piss-take/spoof, now gone badly wrong?! The actors will be found and we will soon find out if there ever was a full length film at all.

Sep. 12 2012 05:48 PM
Diana Glass from Boston

I appreciate your careful viewing and reporting on this.

Sep. 12 2012 05:37 PM
Amina from Canada

May you be rewarded for your thoughtful research... I for one, was unable to continue viewing the video, I find it very silly..something that should not have gained any publicity..people need to be educated and let bygones be bygones..

Sep. 12 2012 05:25 PM
Ala from USA

Dear Sarah,

Why do you think that the movie is offensive.
Only if you consider this movie as making a religious
statement would you reach such a conclusion.

I found the movie to be factual and funny. I am
reading a book حروب دولة الرسول published in Eygpt which
lists all the events in the movie.

I think that Muslims need to start accepting criticism of
their religion like all others. This is the only way we can
advance the religion to the 22nd century and propel its adherents
To modern times.

I agree the movie is silly and not well made but it is funny and truthful about
the historical events.

Warmest Regards,


Sep. 12 2012 05:16 PM
Max Escolar

You wrote a thoughtful article that should be read by many.
As the hours tick by since the violence, we are learning that "Sam Bacile" may not be the real name of anyone associated with the propaganda.
I hope a lip reader views the trailer and write to you and others about the actual words said during the propaganda.
My feeling is that is looks to have been created by a Christian mega church and the cast is made up of the church's members who may have worked for free.
Some of the folks viewed in the very poorly produced video don't look intelligent enough to keep the conspiracy under wraps, for too much longer.
When do Muslims call their deity "God"? I have always heard that the omnipotent entity they worship being called "Allah".

Sep. 12 2012 03:56 PM

There's one other issue about this mess that OTM might consider investiating.

This morning's AP report says "Bacile, a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, ..." and many people seem to be taking Bacile at his word. (You should see some of the comments on the interwebs.)

But last night the reports were saying that he's a Coptic Christian immigrant from Egypt to the US. And Bacile (pronounced "ba-silly"), or Basily, is a Coptic family name.

Also, according to the report, the consultant Steve Klein says that Bacile is concerned about family members who still live in Egypt. Considering that virtually all the Jews in Egypt were chased out 60 years ago (in the aftermath of the creation of Israel), it's unlikely that Bacile would have relatives there if he were really an Israeli Jew.

If Bacile is a Copt, then it's very likely that he has relatives in Egypt. And it strikes me that his claiming to be an Israeli Jew could be an attempt to deflect mob anger in Egypt away from the Coptic community there.

Sep. 12 2012 02:20 PM

Someone must know the actors involved. The mystery should unravel about "Sam Bacile"

Sep. 12 2012 01:51 PM
Eric from Monterey

The first part does indeed look like a completely different film from the second part. The dubbing that jumped out at me is when the doctor writes "Man + x = BT" but says "Man + x = Islamic terrorist," with "Islamic terrorist" clearly dubbed over something. What could the orginal "BT" have stood for?

Sep. 12 2012 01:45 PM
Paul Adams from Washington

Very useful work, Sarah. What's your take on the first minute or two (which appear to be from a different film entirely, set in contemporary Egypt and apparently dwelling on the plight of Copts)? Perhaps these scenes are from the $5m film, with the Arabian Nights-style material stuck on afterwards (by someone else?)

Sep. 12 2012 01:15 PM
MrJM from Chicagoland via Internets

Well done, Ms. Abdurrahman!

Well done!

-- MrJM

Sep. 12 2012 01:04 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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