By now, you are all familiar with “The Innocence of Muslims”, an amateur “film” produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, that has sparked rioting and perhaps death around the globe. The film, directed by Alan Roberts, a pornography director, originally opened in a rented theater in Hollywood, CA on June 23, 2012 for an audience of about ten people. Trailers and excerpts were uploaded to YouTube in July 2012 garnering little attention. In September 2012, Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American blogger previously exiled from Egypt for calling for attacks on Egypt, translated the YouTube video to Arabic and reuploaded it. Morris Sadek then sent video links to journalists. On September 8th, the Egyptian TV station, Al-Nas, broadcast a clip from the video sparking protests worldwide.
The cast and crew, about 80 individuals, have all denounced the film and all claim they were tricked by the director and producer into thinking they were making a film about life in Egypt two thousand years ago called Desert Warrior. In a statement to CNN, the crew states, “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 original casting call never mentioned Muhammad or Islam. The anti-Islam rhetoric was dubbed after filming without the knowledge of the actors. Sarah Abdurrahmann, from On The Media, provided analysis on the film and concluded, “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.”.