LOS ANGELES -- An Israeli filmmaker
based in California went into hiding after his movie attacking Islam's
prophet Muhammad sparked angry assaults by ultra-conservative Muslims on
U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, where one American was killed.
by phone from an undisclosed location Tuesday, writer and director Sam
Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the
56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement
condemning the religion.
over Bacile's film opened fire on and burned down the U.S. consulate in
the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing an American diplomat on
Tuesday. In Egypt, protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in
Cairo and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner.
is a political movie," said Bacile. "The U.S. lost a lot of money and a
lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we're fighting with
Bacile, a California real estate
developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, said he believes the
movie will help his native land by exposing Islam's flaws to the world.
"Islam is a cancer, period," he said repeatedly.
The two-hour movie, Innocence of Muslims,
cost $5 million (â?¬3.91 million) to make and was financed with the
help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed
The film claims Muhammad was a fraud. An
English-language 13-minute trailer on YouTube shows an amateur cast
performing a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about
Muhammad, whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons.
depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual
abuse, among other overtly insulting claims that have caused outrage.
find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any manner, let alone insult
the prophet. A Danish newspaper's 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of
the prophet triggered riots in many Muslim countries.
Bacile was apologetic about the American who was killed as a result of
the outrage over his film, he blamed lax embassy security and the
perpetrators of the violence.
"I feel the security system (at the embassies) is no good," said Bacile. "America should do something to change it."
consultant on the film, Steve Klein, said the filmmaker is concerned
for family members who live in Egypt. Bacile declined to confirm.
said he vowed to help Bacile make the movie but warned him that "you're
going to be the next Theo van Gogh." Van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker
killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was
perceived as insulting to Islam.
"We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen," Klein said.
film was dubbed into Egyptian Arabic by someone he doesn't know, but he
speaks enough Arabic to confirm that the translation is accurate. It
was made in three months in the summer of 2011, with 59 actors and about
45 people behind the camera.
The full film has been shown once, to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood earlier this year, said Bacile.