Widespread riots in the Middle East that led to the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya came following the release online of an Arabic translation of a movie directed by Sam Bacile, a 56-year-old California real-estate developer, titled “Innocence of Muslims.”
The two-hour movie, which according to the Associated Press cost $5 million to make and was financed by more than 100 Jewish donors, attacks the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, making him out to be a fraud. It also depicts him engaged in sexual acts.
The film was screened one time at a movie theater in Hollywood, Bacile told the AP.
Bacile went into hiding on Tuesday night, speaking to international media from an undisclosed location.
“Islam is a cancer, period,” he told Fox News.
“This is a political movie,” Bacile told the AP. “The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but we’re fighting with ideas.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemned the attack while attacking anti-Islamic bigotry.
“The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind,” she said in a statement.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other American diplomats were killed, and the U.S. embassy in Cairo was attacked over an anti-Muslim movie by an American-Israeli filmmaker.
Amb. John Christopher Stevens and three unnamed diplomats were killed Tuesday night in a rocket attack on their car in Benghazi, the White House confirmed Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday evening, Egyptian protesters climbed over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, pulled down an American flag, and then tried to set it alight.