By Lateef Mungin
(CNN) - Jewish groups are upset that the initial reporting about the anti-Islam movie known as "Innocence of Muslims" depicted the film as being financed by a group of Jewish donors.
The groups say the reporting was irresponsible and even dangerous.
"We are greatly concerned that this false notion that an Israeli Jew and 100 Jewish backers were behind the film now has legs and is gathering speed around the world," Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League said Thursday. "In an age where conspiracy theories, especially ones of an anti-Semitic nature, explode on the Internet in a matter of minutes, it is crucial for those news organizations who initially reported on his identity to correct the record."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center also blasted the early media coverage of the story.
The center said Thursday it is "deeply troubled that the project was initially falsely and widely depicted as a project of an American- Israeli and that the $5 million was raised by 100 Jews. We remain deeply worried that those initial media reports are being used by Islamist extremists to further fan the violent anti-Semitism that is a part of that sub-culture of hate."
The crude film has stirred violent protests in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Mobs attacked the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi this week leaving the ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Initial reports including one in the Wall Street Journal that the filmmaker was a 52-year-old Israeli-American from California named Sam Bacile and that Jewish donors had financed his film.
In the Wall Street Journal report early this week, the filmmaker said the film "was a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam."
On Thursday, multiple media agencies, including CNN, seemed to get closer to the true identity of the filmmaker and the financing for the troubling film.
Federal officials now believe the man behind the film is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who was convicted in 2009 of bank fraud. Media staked out the man's home Thursday and a friend said he is in hiding.
A production staff member who worked on the film told CNN that he believed the filmmaker was a Coptic Christian. The production staff member, who did not want to be identified, said when the two spoke on the phone during production, the filmmaker said he was in Alexandria, Egypt, raising money for the film. There has been a long history of animosity between Muslims and the minority Copts in Egypt.
Though the truth about the film's backing seems to be emerging, some say it took too long for reporters to begin investigating the filmmakers claims.
"There were at least seven obvious reasons that 100 Israeli Jews could not have been behind this crappy video," said Rob Eshman, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles-based Jewish Journal. "Right from the beginning there were so many red flags and it is the media's job not to just parrot the story but to really find out if it is true."
The amateurish production of the film was one of the biggest clues that it could not be backed by millionaires of any faith, Eshman said.
"It looks like it was made with 29 dollars really," Eshman said. "In the grand scheme of things this is not a tragedy compared to the people who are losing their lives in Libya, but it could have led to more tragedies. The (initial) news that it was Jews behind the film should have never been reported in the first place – it feeds into people's prejudice."
If journalists would INVESTIGATE a story before printing there would be less aggression towards a particular nation or culture! Not that there is any excuse for the violence and bloodshed over this film. Obviously there are religions who treat their prophets with a certain holiness, so should we go and burn down the Libyan, Egyptian, and other arab embassies, in retaliation? Of course not, civilized people don't do such things in the name of religion! It is obvious there are civilized and uncivilized religions!!! So what can be done???
Her statement has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
She's saying that if someone is offended by the message, then they should go after the person who sent said message – not an entire country/ethnicity/religion.
I'll defend your inaliendable right to be a loud mouthed jerk, but that doesn't mean I'll protect you from the ramifications of being a jerk.
You won't do sh it for US because you do not reside in our country. Develop freedom of speech in your own restrictive land and leave our American values alone. There's your sign.
Exactly! Why do people not get this?
Yes, freedom of speech is important. Yes, they had the absolute right to make that movie. No one could or should have stopped them. But they should have stopped themselves. They should have realized – and what bothers me is that they probably did – that they're sacred right to spread their hate was going to get people killed. And they didn't care.
"captain america" / "truth be told" – you are truly the worst kind of uneducated idiot. A proud one.
Maybe Hilary and Administration should apologize to the mysterious investors. The State Department and the rest of Administration used the excuse the Jews did it. Ask Mika's Father who national Tv(msnbc?) produced by a Jew. In fact Mika your father shoots and aimed in the wrong direction.
Let's put the blame where it belongs. The film was done by Americans and distributed by private American citizens not the government. So it is the fault of the people of America as after 10 years of our military being in the Middle East we know how the billion Muslims around the world feel about their God, their religion and their Koran. The American people brought this hatred upon themselves.
I saw zbigniew too, foaming at the mouth, poles, crushed by every conqueror for centuries , and the worst naz1 collaborators, zbigniew, the dumbest NSA to ever serve
Let's put the blame where it belongs. The film was done by Americans and distributed by private American citizens not the government. So it is the fault of the people of America ......
You just blamed all 315 million people for what one person did.
You are an idiot.
when was the last time American's stormed an embassy and killed someone.... umm, never.
Since you do not remember just Google: Chinese embassy Belgrade (Yugoslavia/Serbia) 1999
It was not stormed, it was just bombed with the GPS guided bomb by US Air Force.
Try another one: Vatican embassy (Diplomatic mission) when Manuel Norriega was captured in 1989 (It was not stormed he was just chased out with 24/7 extremely loud music for continuous 12 days)
Our founding fathers used very, good wisdom when they established that church and state should be separate!! It is a sad that most religious believers, that have love and acceptance as a tenet, is so prone to violence and bigotry! And people wonder why church attendance is declining...
Church and state was designed by the Jesuits you moron.
It is even a problem to report the apparent Coptic origin of the film. Americans are not equipped to understand the nature and depth of the disturbed relationship between Copts and Muslims. It's very possible to deepen that disturbance and cause reversals for the Copts, reversals that mean personal suffering and various kinds of deprivations. We know from our own history that democracies don't always keep their freedoms balanced across their populations. This will be dangerous for Copts.
The film is just an excuse for muslims to do in more Americans. It's a perfect example of Obama;s lack of experience,
Right. And the buffoon known as mittens would do any better...? Stop watching fox...they are polluting your brain!
No. In what way does this video have to do with Obama? Are you expecting him to increase our national debt even more to finance a war against Egypt? It would be naive to think that war would be a logical reaction to this situation. Sigh...
What? Terry Jones and co. make a movie with the sole intention of ticking off more than a third of the world's population, and those people react to it the way those people knew they would. How is that proof of anything about President Obama?
Obama is doing fine.
You are an azzhole.
You know what's funny being athiestic and agnostic no one ever can offend your religion or your god!!!
You know what's even funnier? That you claim some sort of intellectual or moral high ground over people of faith, but you find it funny when people die.
Uhm ... no I didn't claim any moral anything above people of faith. And the "funny" ... is a reference to the "irony", where does it say its "funny" that people died over "faith". Let's try my statement again ...
You know what's funny being athiest and agnostic no one ever can offend your religion or your god!!!
September 14, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
I dont see anywhere that Franky invoked some higher moral ground.
Maybe you dont read so well.
Why are we even talking about this movie? It was low budget and no one watched it. I could troll the internet and find even worse things to talk about than this film. We already know that the embassy attacks were planned as a 9/11 event. It wasn't about the film.
Wow. Where did you get all your inside information about this being about 9/11? Do you have family in Syria who told you about the attack before it happened? Or are you just making things up?
Og. Libya, not Syria. Darned middle eastern countries with "y"s in their names.
Maybe she is listening to the official reports citing the same motives. You should try it.
You've got it. This film and the "reason" behind the "protests" are all just weak justification for a long planned for attack on the anniversary of the other well planned attack. The rumors that started that it was backed by Jews tells me this is even more true. That it's all created, fed and led as a misdirection tactic by those that honestly just wish to kill and destroy. I just don't know why they have to fabricate excuses. We all know that they hate America. That should be enough. They just created this scene to manipulate their own people and recruit new idiots to their cause.
If everyone is so mad about this stupid file, then find the person who did it and go after him. Most Americans could careless about Muslims, anti-muslims films or burning of our flag. get over it
Yes, let's recind the free speech rights of anyone who says something that someone else may find objectionable!
They just don't like the truth very well, read the history, they are mad cuz they showed him, but hey viewing him as a killer, molester and such is no problem. LOL it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Lets take away your right to free speech first,
and see how you like it.
They are just looking for something to kill over....it's a way of life
maybe Americans need to learn to stop insulting the billion of Muslims on this earth. If you want peace, try being a friend and respect these people, their religion and their God. Life is a two-way street.
With instability, corruption and marginalization in some of those countries, it's easy to fan people into buying into blaming others for all their problems as that takes away from the real sources of problems within those nations.
Islam has a muslim problem. The most educated of muslims seem to be able to follow and live productive lives. The problem is the equivalent of rednecks and ghetto dwellers who buy into anything the local mullahs tell them to. The mullahs (another made up position of power who equate to Sharpton/Jackson) tell these illiterate weaklings what to believe and how to believe, thus manage their own gain like mafia dons. The countries with more stability, better economy and better education don't seem to have this widespread problem of uneducated and marginalized muslims acting like a rabble of rednecks or ghetto rioters. Somehow I don't think rioters in this country like in the LA riots were a bunch of college educated professionals. Some of those crackpots and tyrants do their part to keep the people down and maintain instability so they can keep milking the corrupt cow and maintain control of the people by redirecting blame. I'd like to know how many doctors, lawyers, teachers/professors and successful business owners were part of the riots and what not.
Much rather smokem
@ Whitepine. I simply say, NO. I will not respect violent evil killers. As for the rest of muslims, if your not a murderer and are peaceful then there is no conversation. I don't care what you believe or what you call your God. I don't bother myself with what anyone else around me believes because its simply none of my business and irrevelant to having a civil conversation. Until they start shouting and killing people, then I may have issues with the beliefs of others.
maybe Americans need to learn to stop insulting the billion of Muslims on this earth...
Maybe they need to grow a thicker skin.
From what i understand, there is NOTHING in the Koran
about depicting the anointed one.
Maybe they need to stop listening to Imans who decide
how the Koran is interpreted.
Its these Imans doing all the damage.
The Jews did it!
No, wait – the Coptics did it!
Why doesn't everybody just admit the truth – an @s.sho.le did it.
Dou.che.bag.gery transcends religion, nationality and race.
Unless the canadians did it we have no use for your input, mind your own F'n business . There's your sign
It's just not satisfying to whack one douchebag. Kill everyone that resembles him. And their families unto the generations.
I thought it was stupidly funny...kinda like a monty python thing...heck with them if they can't take a joke, it's our country and I really don't like some islamic whack job telling me what I can and can't do, I'm not islamic and I don't care if it hurts their feelings, They sure don't care about mine. So you do what you do and I'll do what I do and keep the hell away from me I always say.
The problem, Cliff, is that the reaction to this film in the Middle East was entirely predictable. The problem is that American citizens are in the line of fire, and now the American military is too. The problem is that there are not secrets in this world of youtube and the internet, and not every place is protected by freedom of speech.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should. You don't shout "fire" in a crowded movie theater, and you don't throw rocks at a hornets nest when there are other people standing next to it. That's just common sense.
You act as if there was no foreknowledge that this film would precipitate violence and you presume that there are no forces who would deliberately instigate such provocation.
There was nothing untruthful in the film.
Was it inflamatory ? yes.
Was it wrong ? yes.
Did he have a right to make it ? yes.
Islam needs to join civilization.
Only an idiot would believe this story, Jews hate Arabs just as much as Arabs hate them.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is a Jew.
Thank goodness the Jews elected you as their spokesman, otherwise we would never know what an entire people are thinking.
I dont know Josh,
Could it be because the Arabs want to push the Jews into the Sea ?
If you wanted me dead, i doubt i would bake you a cake.
Freedom of speech has its' limits. One cannot go into the middle of a crowded room and yell "FIRE", as it puts other peoples' lives at risk. I feel this is similar.
"I believe in free speech, but there are some things people just shouldn't be allowed to say!"
It's a syntactical impossibility. A semantic impossibility.
You don't believe in free speech if you say that.
You can't say you do, and then espouse opinions contrary to that. No walking around proud about your ethical and moral fibre.
Legislating away people's option to share their ideas about things doesn't actually do anything about the real harm that's being done by the people committing acts about which other people have or share ideas. People communicating their thoughts actually leads to more intelligent, reasoned actions: that means less impulsive, irrational and inhuman ones.
When you argue for censorship that "harm was being done," I ask "so what did you do to stop it?" Not "how did you suppress the public's access to the evidence?"
Ohhh, you offened me...I keeeeel you. Your comment is wrong cuz they look for anything to kill over. (and of coures it's always America thats wrong)
Bull. It is not the same. We should not expect people to be moved to violence just because some obscure film denigrates their so called religion. It's weak minded and pathetic both by the film makers and those that encourage violent retribution that isn't even focused on the right people. When was the last time in the modern era you witnessed thousands of Christians throwing petrol bombs because someone depicted Jesus in an offensive way? The muslims need to get a grip on themselves and get the heck over it.
You cannot go into a theatre and yell "Fire". But we also must guard against groups that feel their religion is superior to all others and deserves special treatment. Imagine if evangelicals forced Americans to put out movies that met with their perceived faith. With nothing else being permitted. Would we condemn anyone who violated their faith?
The muslims should get over it, be able to laugh it off, but they don't have to on our say so, and in fact, they're not going to. The reaction to this film was completely predictable, and now Americans are dead.
There is one situation where you are allowed to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater: when there really is a fire.
Cliff: "Your comment is wrong cuz they look for anything to kill over. "
I think I smell a disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer!
Funny that Abraham Foxman and the ADL were not remotely concerned with the message of the movie. They are out to protect only one group of people. The movie followed the same talk track about Islam that the zionists preach on every online message board. BTW – I still have not seen one shred of evidence that this was not financed by 100 jewish donors and an israeli. All law enforcement investigations begin by asking, "Who benefits?" Coptic Christians would bring more problems unto themselves by making this movie. The movie absolutely helps the zionist push for war in Iran, by creating unrest / demonstrations against the US, which motivates American rednecks and evangelicals to crusade against muslims. Don't forget israel's history of false flag attacks.
You are a "patriot" of what abysmal third-world he11 hole? Certainly not an American with such hateful conspiracy-laden ideas.
People like you are the reason people like me have to defend the freedom of speech we have. Your notion, "I still have not seen one shred of evidence that this was not financed by 100 jewish donors and an israeli" shows how ignorant and simple-minded people can create ill will and anger towards others based on feeble-minded hatred. As you said, "All law enforcement investigations begin by asking, "Who benefits?" I would ask, who benefits by you making unsubstantiated claims about who financed the piece of crap production.And if you think the "the movie absolutely helps the zionist push for war in Iran" and "motivates American rednecks and evangelicals to crusade against muslims," the I feel sorry for your friends, loved ones and family. Because they all have to live around your spirit-sucking sewage stew of hate and stupidity.
Coptic Christians would bring more problems unto themselves by making this movie.
And Jews wouldnt ?
How about the story is that Islamist can get so upset over a stupid movie they decide to kill people? A lot of these idiots are just animals.
Funny thing is, it's kinda a true story, read the real history.
Well, the news media will do anything to get some Ad Revenue.
After all the death, destruction and stupidity, I'd think that just about everyone who isn't a muslim is fed up with this religion and the acts committed on it's behalf. Obviously, many more thousands of people are going to have to die at the hands of these nut job religious freaks before their threat to non-muslims is taken seriously by the world's governments.
Well when you talk about nut jobs look at the christian faith More people have died in the name of god or whatever invisible man you pray to. Look at the LA riot over the Rodney king verdict. very violent and not over religion. Look at the crusades or Spanish inquisition. Look at the bigots in the south. Hay how bout the that church that protests at soldiers funeral saying they will go to hell for Americas sins. So before you condemn one set of religious nut jobs you need to think about the nut jobs in your own faith. Oh yea The Jew that made the movie should be taken and given to the nut cases in Libya let him take the heat himself
Prayer changes things. .
Christians murder millions of Jews in the Middle Ages.
The Crusades, religious wars fought killing thousands.
Christians murder 100,000,000 Native Americans over five hundred years.
Six million Jews murdered by good Christians in Europe.
Religion brings civil war dividing India.
Christians murder millions of Jews in the Middle Ages. The Crusades, religious wars fought killing thousands.Christians murder 100,000,000 Native Americans over five hundred years. Six million Jews murdered by good Christians in Europe.
Religion brings civil war dividing India.
Up to this point it seems to: A. not be working...and B. Part of the problem.
@michael jonson-there were never 100 million indians in America,it wasnt christians who terminated 6 million jews,in fact jews didnt lose the most people during ww2 and i wish they'd quit acting like they were the only ones to take their lumps.and religion doesnt start or end wars,its the rich men that start wars and regular huys who fight in it because the rich sons dont fight in warsbut instead profit from it
no they don't, actions change things.
@"Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"
Oh, you dreary little troll. Don't you have anything of value to add to conversation? Parroting the same line over doesn't make it true, and doesn't make people believe you.
It beats the hell out of the hate the church teaches .I will not ask my kids to go to church if they want they can but I tell them how and why i feel the way I do Religion is the best bull sh!t con job of all time. God is all powerful but he needs your money. and if you don't believe in my faith you will burn in hell. PLEASE get over yourselves and stop shoving it down the throats of those that don't want it and who are you to judge anyone by your own belief if you are not sin free you should not cast stones. And was it not the Jews that chose to have Jesus put on the cross and I bet for a dollar they would do the same to anyone.
I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:
I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
by the Alzheimer's Disease Society
Just an excuse to fight and blow up stuff
Not all Americans are this ignorant about the 1.3 billion followers of Islam,. only conservatives are. It was Islam that saved Jewish Culture in Spain and kept the knowledge of the Greeks and Romans in their libraries. Islam have us Algebra and irrational numbers. .
I think it gave us a cess pool, and as far as irrational...yeah it did give us that.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.