Not two, but three more “films” coming our way

Sheila Musaji discusses the fact that not two, but three more films are in the works.

Not two, but three more “films” coming our way

by Sheila Musaji (TAM)

Daniel Greenfield noted appreciatively on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine that Ali Sina and Mosab Hassan Yousef have upcoming films on Prophet Muhammad.  He even includes a picture of what seems to be a poster advertising one of the films “Muhammad: The True Story of a False Prophet” and at the bottom “in theaters this summer”.  Not surprising that he would approve since he also published Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’? encouraging more films like “Innocence of Muslims.  Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller have also encouraged publishing more cartoons/films etc. until as Pipes said Muslims “become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”  Daniel Pipes added an update to his article A Muhammad Cartoon a Day  noting that “The Los Angeles Times tells about two ex-Muslims, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Ali Sina, who have plans to make big-budget derogatory films showing Muhammad on screen.  To which I can add a third ex-Muslim with the same intent, Imran Firasat.”

Mosab Hassan Yousef has gone through a number of ideological changes in the past few years.

Yousef’s conversion to Christianity was through the preaching of Father Zakaria Botros Henein.

In 2010 he published a book Son of Hamas.  The title refers to the fact that he is the son of a senior Hamas figure, although he became a spy for the Shin Bet.  At this time, Pamela Geller called Yousef “a brave heroic apostate out of Islam”.  He faced deportation hearingsdue to some claims in his book.  At this time, Alex Nowrasteh on David Horowitz’ Newsreal Blog said “Mosab is also the most valuable source of intelligence on Hamas that Israel has ever produced.”  Debbie Schlussel wrote about Yousef saying “I am very suspicious of Youssef. I don’t know how much he actually aided Israel as a spy …  And even if he did as much as he claims, so have many other anti-Israel Jew-haters Israel recruits as spies. There are no swans in the sewer. . . and the sewer is the general habitat of informants.”

In 2011, Walid Shoebat repudiated Yousef and Yousef and his former Shin Bet handler responded to Shoebat’s attack.  Pamela Geller also repudiated him and called him “a fraud”.

In June 2012, Yousef visited Israel and spoke at the Israeli Parliament  where he read a statement – he says he is now “free, loving, and forgiving” “truth and forgiveness are the solution for the Middle East’s problems”.  He visited Israel as a guest of Likud MK Ayoub Kara.  During that visit he announced that he was making a film on Prophet Muhammad that would reveal his “real nature” to Muslims.”  While in Israel he also spoke at an event in Jerusalem hosted by Media Central, a pro-Israel press relations organization.  Yousef isworking with Israeli film producer and actor Sam Feuer.  Feuer will produce both a feature film adaptation of Son of Hamas as well as the Muhammad movie.  Feuer said the movie has already interested sponsors and a major screenwriter who is in the process of creating the script.

The link Daniel Pipes provided about the film being made by Imran Farasat is to Farasat’s site in Spain, announcing that he will make a film and that it will be released in 2012 in 4 to 5 languages.  Based on the site, and on limited google searches, Farasat is a Pakistani ex-Muslim now living in Spain.  He seems to be a very marginal character who will produce something to be released on YouTube.

All of this adds credence to Justin Raimondo’s speculation about an Israeli connection behind at least some of these films.

Not A Shocker: More Muhammad movies planned, film-makers reveal

The anti-Muslim Movie Festival that we are likely to encounter in the upcoming months and years is just beginning. The Islamophobia machine has whet its appetite, and those who thrive off of instigating civilizational and cultural conflict are salivating at the chance to incite another conflagration. The Innocence of Muslims is not the first anti-Muslim hate movie produced, it is just another in a long line, but the Geller’s and Spencer’s of the world see an opportunity, will their counterparts in the Muslim world, the loony and extremist fringe oblige? One prays not.

The following Guardian article details Geller and Spencer’s production of an upcoming “Muhammad movie,” but that’s not the only one, there are reports that former Mossad agent Musab Youssef, who bills himself the “Son of Hamas” is also working on a movie about the Prophet Muhammad. (h/t: Jai)

More Muhammad movies planned, film-makers reveal

By Ben Child (The Guardian)

Protests have erupted across the Muslim world after clips from a film depicting Muhammad appeared on YouTube. Now, according to the LA Times, there could be more provocation to come: the newspaper says it has uncovered evidence that at least two further film-makers are planning movies which will show the prophet on screen.

Innocence of Muslims, the film currently at the centre of a religious firestorm, has caused anger for its depiction of Muhammad as a womaniser and paedophile, but has also upset worshippers who believe that it is blasphemous to depict him on screen. The Times says two further film-makers are both planning to do just that. Just as worryingly for US relations with the Muslim world, both are ex-believers who no longer embrace Islam and both are raising funds for their biopics in the United States.

The newspaper names the first film-maker as Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who moved to Los Angeles several years ago. He told the LA Times he had already cast a “prominent Hollywood actor” in the title role of his $30m (£18.5m) film, titled simply Muhammad. “My goal is to create this big mirror to show the Muslim world the true image of its leader,” Yousef says, adding that the film would feel similar to the Mel Gibson drama The Passion of the Christ. The film-maker was reportedly inspired to convert by the radical Egyptian Christian Zakaria Botros Henein, who has described Muhammad as a paedophile and buffoonand who may have also influenced the makers of Innocence of Muslims.

The second film-maker is named as Ali Sina, a Canadian atheist who was raised as a Muslim in Iran. He says he has secured $2m (£1.2m) for a film that will portray Muhammad as a cult leader in the style of David Koresh or Jim Jones. Sina hopes to shoot next year if he can raise an extra $8m. He has been planning his film for a decade but says it only recently became a possibility due to technical advances in film distribution.

“We can bypass theatres completely and sell the movie online with a profit to a large number of people, especially Muslims,” Sina said. “They can download it and watch it even if they are living in Karachi or Mecca or Medina.”

Perhaps the best known film about the life of Muhammad is The Message, a 1977 film by Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad; described as the story of Islam, it was ultimately financed by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after Hollywood refused to fund it. Starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, the film avoided any depiction of Muhammad on screen. Scenes were occasionally shown from the prophet’s perspective but he was not seen and his voice was not heard. Even so, the film drew anger among Muslims who had heard a rumour that Quinn was playing Muhammad. In March 1977, the film was named as a grievance (among others) by an armed group who took 149 hostages and killed a radio journalist and a police officer during a standoff in Washington, DC.

At least 51 people, including the US ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over Innocence of Muslims. So far, only clips from the film have been aired and it is not clear whether a full cut exists.

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia sues over Innocence of Muslims

This poor woman has been implicated in the horrific anti-Muslim movie and wants her name cleared. She’s suing the deceptive producers and directors. I am going to guess that other actors who were tricked will be suing as well. (h/t: Jai):

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia sues over Innocence of Muslims

A US actress who appeared in an amateur anti-Islam video that sparked protests across the Muslim world is suing the film’s suspected director.

Cindy Lee Garcia accused Nakoula Basseley Nakoula of duping her into a “hateful” film that she was led to believe was a desert adventure movie.

She is also asking a judge to order YouTube to remove the film.

A clip dubbed into Arabic provoked widespread anger for its mocking portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

The film, Innocence of Muslims, which was made in the United States, has sparked protests across the Middle East, North Africa and as far away as Sri Lanka, with some demonstrations turning into destructive and violent riots.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stephens, were killed during an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

According to Ms Garcia, the script she received had made no mention of the Prophet Muhammad or made references to religion.

She claims she has received death threats since the video was posted to YouTube, and says her association with the film has harmed her reputation.

In a court filing lodged with Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Ms Garcia alleged fraud, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Dialogue dismay

Lawyers for Ms Garcia contend that changes in dialogue during post-production casts her in a false light.

“[Garcia] had a legally protected interest in her privacy and the right to be free from having hateful words put in her mouth or being depicted as a bigot,” the lawsuit says.

“There was no mention of ‘Mohammed’ during filming or on set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any sexual content of which Ms Garcia was aware,” it adds.

Mr Nakoula denies being “Sam Bacile”, a pseudonym used by the person who posted the video online.

He has gone into hiding after telling US media he was the manager of a company that helped produce the film, but US officials believe him to be the director.

Mr Nakoula was convicted of fraud in 2010 and ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was released in June 2011 with the provision that he did not access the internet or use any aliases without permission.

Authorities questioned him last week over whether he had violated any of those conditions.

YouTube has so far refused Ms Garcia’s requests to remove the film, according to the lawsuit, although it has blocked it in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt.

“This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor on the right of Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet,” the complaint states.

Google, which owns YouTube, has blocked the film in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt.

A spokesman for YouTube said they were reviewing the complaint and would be in court on Thursday.

Anti-Islam Filmmaker Becomes a Martyr to the Right

(h/t: CriticalDragon)

Anti-Islam Filmmaker Becomes a Martyr to the Right

by Adam Serwer (Mother Jones)

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who appears to be behind the amateurish anti-Islam film that sparked violent protests at Western embassies in Arab and Muslim countries around the world last week, doesn’t exactly have a family-friendly background. His criminal record includes financial fraud and drug convictions. But spurred on by conservative web king Matt Drudge, conservatives have turned Nakoula into a martyr for free speech.

As Roy Edroso documents in the Village Voice, conservatives are now claiming that Nakoula’s recent arrest for potentially violating the terms of his probation is proof the Obama administration is caving to violent protests around the world. Popular conservative blogger Glenn Reynolds demanded Obama resign for “sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration[.]” The “brownshirts” are the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whom Reynolds is comparing to militia of the Nazi Party in Germany. Powerline blogger Scott Johnson declared ”I am Nakoula Basseley Nakoula,” (a reference to the anti-Red Scare film Spartacus). Pajamas Media blogger Roger Simon wrote ”Hillary Clinton, I insist that you have me arrested. I am thinking of making a movie about Mohammed.”

Speakers at the annual Values Voters gathering of mostly Christian religious conservatives on Saturday were drawing similar conclusions. “The big headline this morning is ‘federal authorities investigate Christian filmmaker because of this film,” Fox News commentator Todd Starnes told attendees during a panel on religious freedom. “Where are the federal investigations into shows like South Park which has denigrated all faiths?” During another Values Voters panel, titled “Islam 101,” the Christian Broadcast Networks’ Eric Stalkelbeck warned that “things continue the way they’re going with the infringement on free speech, this panel we’re having today, you might not have it in a few years. We might get lead out in cuffs.”

The common claim here is that criticism of Islam is somehow becoming illegal. But very few of Nakoula’s conservative fans note that he is being investigated not because he made a film critical of Islam but rather because his production of the movie under the pseudonym “Sam Bacile” may have violated the terms of his probation. After being convicted of bank fraud in 2010, Nakoula was “banned from using computers or the Internet or using false identities as part of his sentence.” Starnes and Stalkelbeck conventiently omitted this fact from their jeremiads about persecution of Christians. Reynolds mentions it in passing and dismisses it as pretext. Johnson and Simon don’t mention it at all.

The irony here is that Americans can and do say just about anything they want about Muslims. Broad, simplistic criticisms of Muslims, while usually more sophisticated than Nakoula’s film, are actually pretty frequent in American society (seeNewsweek‘s latest cover). Some Muslims, by contrast, do face restrictions on their free speech: Those who express extremist ideaswithout engaging in violence may find themselves subject to prosecution for materially supporting terrorism. You don’t often see conservatives complaining about that.

Some of the Obama administration’s decisions do raise free-speech concerns, however. Thegovernment’s inquiry to YouTube about whether the video violated the site’s terms of service was potentially coercive. So was the call that Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made to a fringe Florida pastor to urge him to stop supporting the film. It’s also fair to ask whether or not Nakoula’s probation terms could be used as pretext to punish him indirectly, and to note that Nakoula is not responsible for the actions of those who have reacted to the video’s content with violence.

Those are all fair points. What’s not fair is to claim Nakoula was arrested for criticizing Islam without noting that he very well might have violated the terms of his probation. It’s possible that the Obama administration is influencing the LA County Sheriff’s Department in order to restrict Nakoula’s freedom of speech. The burden of proof for that claim lies with the people making it, and thus far conservatives haven’t offered much more than rage-filled speculation.

But conservatives who already believe the Obama administration is persecuting Christians and kowtowing to Islamists don’t need to see proof to know that Nakoula is a free-speech martyr. ”In this assault on religious freedom in this country, is Christianity being singled out?” Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Center, asked Starnes’ panel at Values Voters on Saturday. The audience laughed knowingly. “That was kind of a softball question” Perkins acknowledged. “That was so easy the audience could answer it.”

Newsweek Publishes Islamophobic ‘Muslim Rage’ Cover In Response To Embassy Attacks

The impeccably loony self-styled scholar and hateful fraud Ayaan Hirsi Ali is at it again with another incendiary Newsweek article.:

Newsweek Publishes Islamophobic ‘Muslim Rage’ Cover In Response To Embassy Attacks

by Ben Armbruster (Think Progress)

Anti-Islam rhetoric in the United States has heated up this week in the wake of the violent protests in the Middle East. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough joined in the backlash this morning, saying the entire Muslim world hates the United States “because of their religion.”

Newsweek picked up on this theme, today releasing its new cover story by with the headline “MUSLIM RAGE” and a photo of angry Muslims:

Somali-born Dutch AEI scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the cover story’s author. In the article, Hirsi Ali claims that extremist Muslims “are not a fringe group“:

The Muslim men and women (and yes, there are plenty of women) who support — whether actively or passively — the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment are not a fringe group. On the contrary, they represent the mainstream of contemporary Islam.

In a speech back in May, Hirsi Ali expressed sympathy for one of the justifications for Norwegian anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Breivik‘s attacks, explaining that Breivik said “he had no other choice but to use violence” because his fringe views were “censored.” Breivik was convicted of mass murder last month, which he admitted to perpetuating in order to save Europe from a “Muslim takeover.”

As this blog has previously noted, in a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Hirsi Ali called for Islam to be “defeated.” The interviewer asked: “Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?” Hirsi Ali replied bluntly: “No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.”

UPDATE

Newsweek responds: “This weeks Newsweek cover accurately depicts the events of the past week as violent protests have erupted in the Middle East (including Morocco where the cover image was taken).”

UPDATE

Hirsi Ali has also previously said that “Islam is a cult,” “there is no moderate Islam,” and that “we are at war with Islam.”