Anti-Islamist Film: “Innocence of Muslims” Stirs Violent Strikes in Pakistan
Sep 21, 2012 11:44 AM EDT
The anti-Islamist film "Innocence of Muslims" has stirred violent protests in Pakistan resulting in the death of at least six people and injury of over 80 on Friday in the nation's capital Islamabad. The film has been a source of turmoil among Muslims across the world.
Thursday, there was an eight hour long violent clash between protestors and police. A police official told Reuters, "The protesters included a large number of members of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Islamist student unions' activists. Some of them even resorted to aerial firing."
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According to reports, the group Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba was responsible in fueling the violent demonstrations. The Express Tribune reported that the military was called to protect the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.
The movie, "Innocence of Muslims," which caused the violent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other American staff members has stirred turmoil across the Muslim world from Afghanistan to Indonesia.
The film derides the prophet Muhammad labeling him as scatterbrained and a molester. According to reports, the movie was created by an amateur filmmaker on a budget of around $5 million, most of the money coming from 100 unidentified Jewish donors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The movie was initially said to be made by an Israeli-American named Sam Bacile. But now 55-year-old Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been identified as the man behind the film. Nakoula was arrested last week over charges related to bank fraud, but he has since been released.
The movie was endorsed by the same US pastor who became infamous for encouraging the burning of the Quran. Tony Jones has become notorious for voicing his anti-Islamist sentiments. In the movie, the Prophet is mocked, being depicted as scatterbrained, a child molester as well as a killer.
On Thursday in a new development on Steven's death an unnamed source "familiar with his thinking," told CNN that Stevens said that he was on the al-Qaida "hit list."
There has no confirmation, whether Steven's supposition was founded on evidentiary support or whether it was speculation. American officials told the Atlantic Wire that the attack was not pre-planned, but rather an "opportunistic attack," as reported by the Newspaper.