Entries in Anti-Muslim (3)


White House Asks YouTube to ‘Review’ Anti-Muslim Movie

Stockbyte/Thinkstock/YouTube(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration has asked YouTube to review its posting of the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which has provoked violent protests across the Middle East.

“We reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Carney was adamant Friday that the Obama administration will not apologize for the video.

“We have made clear that we find it offensive and reprehensible and disgusting,” Carney told reporters at the daily White House news briefing. “We have denounced it. We have said we find it offensive and reprehensible, but we will not -- you know, we cannot and will not squelch freedom of expression in this country.”

The White House has not asked YouTube to take down the video, simply to review it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Anti-Islam Film Producer Wrote Script in Prison: Authorities

JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- The controversial Innocence of Muslims was written, produced and directed by a convicted drug manufacturer and scam artist, who has told authorities he actually wrote the script in federal prison and began production two months after his June 2011 release from custody.

Authorities say Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, of Cerritos, Calif., admitted his role in the film, after seeking help from law enforcement in dealing with death threats he has received since the release of the film. Excerpts from the film led to outrage and violence in the Arab world.

Authorities told ABC News that Nakoula told them he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie which, he reportedly said, cost between $50,000 and $60,000 and was shot in a little over 12 days.

Authorities say he claimed the money for the movie came from his wife's family in Egypt.

Using the false name Sam Basile, Nakoula had told reporters earlier this week that he was an "Israeli Jew," that the film had cost about $5,000,000, and that the money had come from wealthy Jewish friends.

Now he is "scared to death," authorities told ABC News, and fearful that harm could come to his wife and other family members. But most of the threats have been directed at him, authorities said.

According to California law enforcement officials the other members of the team that produced the movie are also fearful that harm could come to them. Authorities were seeking to talk to each of them.

Records obtained by ABC News show Nakoula was convicted of intent to manufacture methamphetamine in the 1990s, and also served time in federal prison on bank fraud charges, where he told authorities he wrote the script.

Sentenced to 21 months in prison and five years on probation, Nakoula was moved from the federal correctional complex in Lompoc, Calif. to a halfway house in 2010, according to the website The Smoking Gun. He was released from federal custody in June 2011 and production on the film began just two months later at a soundstage in Southern California.

Actors in the film say that they were told the film was called "Desert Warrior," and say that the script contained no references to Mohammed. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia told ABC News, "I never heard Mohammed, I never said Mohammed." Specific references to Mohammed and Islam were apparently added via overdubbing.

"I just want the world to know that I did not know," said Garcia.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Anti-Muslim Incidents Across the U.S. Following Bin Laden's Death

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When he announced the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama acknowledged and echoed his predecessor, telling the nation, "I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam."

Not everybody listened. While the incidents are for the most part isolated, several public expressions of anti-Muslim sentiment have occurred around the country.

A teacher was put on leave in Friendswood, Texas, after he reportedly asked a female student in his ninth grade algebra class if she was grieving over the death of her "uncle."

In Anaheim, Calif., eggs were thrown at the Fusion Ultra Lounge, even though the nightclub's owner, Mohammed El Khatib, had served in the U.S.'s armed forces and, after hearing of Bin Laden's death, said, "We're happy that he's gone."

In Paterson, N.J., the American Arab Forum received calls on Monday with a message for the "boss."

"It was more than one call, possibly the same person disguising his voice," Aref Assaf, president of the forum, told ABC News. The caller spoke with the staff, not Assaf. "'Tell your boss that we got his friend and we're going to round you up, all of you,' something like that."

"This is the price of being an American Muslim, and a public one at that. It comes with the territory," Assaf said.

Daniel Mach, the director of the ACLU's program on freedom of religion and belief, cautioned that he was speaking "anecdotally" but said, "My impression is that there has been a spike. Bin Laden's death appears to be the latest in a recent string of events that have triggered anti-Muslim activity around the country.

"Sadly, some people will find any excuse to act on their hatred and bigotry," he added.

Aziz Siddiqui , president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he sees the incident with the teacher in Houston as one of "isolated incidents that have been going on for a number of years." He said he thought it was handled properly by school authorities and that it's not America that has "these biases" but certain types of individuals.

"Our hope is to engage people who disagree with us in a respectful and informed matter," said Assaf. Bin Laden's death has brought out powerful emotions. "Our feelings are very real and very strong," said Assaf. "We say, Good riddance."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio