Yesterday, protesters — angered over an English-language film titled Innocence of Muslims — stormed the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo, later attacking the United States consulate in Benghazi and killing the U.S. ambassador to Libya, along with three others. A 14-minute trailer for the film, created by Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American California real-estate developer, was posted to YouTube in July.
The New York Times explains how the film began garnering attention overseas and highlights its rumored ties to Pastor Terry Jones, who has previously drawn attention for burning copies of the Koran:
Last week, an Egyptian-American Copt known for his broadsides against Muslims drew attention to the trailer in an Arabic-language blog post and an e-mail newsletter in English publicizing the latest publicity stunt of the Florida pastor Terry Jones, reviled in the Muslim world for burning copies of the Koran. Reached by telephone in Florida, a representative of Mr. Jones seemed unaware of the film, but hours later the pastor sent The Lede a statement by e-mail in which he complained of the attack on the embassy in Cairo and announced plans to screen the trailer for the film on Tuesday night. He said that it “reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.”
The film mocks the Muslim prophet Muhammad by portraying him as a fraud, a buffoon, and a womanizer, and refers to donkeys as “the first Muslim animal.”
The London Evening Standard reports that Bacile is now in hiding.