Not So Innocent: How “Desert Warriors” Became “Innocence of Muslims”

Curious about how the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” was ever made? The writer Neil Gaiman has one take on the story from a Georgia (former USSR)-born actress and friend of Gaiman’s named Anna Gurji. Here’s a little taste:

My character Hilary was a young girl who is sold (against her own free will) by her parents to a tribe leader known as GEORGE. She is one of his (most likely, the youngest) brides in the movie.
The film was about a comet falling into a desert and different tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it for they deemed that the comet possessed some supernatural powers.
The movie that we were doing in Duarte was called “Desert Warrior” and it was a fictional adventure drama. The character GEORGE was a leader of one of those tribes fighting for the comet.
There was no mention EVER by anyone of MUHAMMAD and no mention of religion during the entire time I was on the set. I am hundred percent certain nobody in the cast and nobody in the US artistic side of the crew knew what was really planned for this “Desert Warrior”.
The atmosphere at the set was as friendly as possible. We all knew that we were doing an adventure drama for a very low budget financing. The director Alan Roberts even had plans that with this low budget product he would be able to get some more money to make a good quality version (by shooting it in the real desert and having better product in every category) of the “Desert Warrior”.
I had interactions with the man known as Sam Bassil  on the set. He was very amiable, respectful, soft-spoken, always making sure that the filming was running smoothly and everyone was satisfied. He even told me the premiere of the movie was going to happen sometime soon and I would get a good amount of tickets to invite my friends and family.I have never been informed about the premiere after that (if it ever happened) and have not seen the final product (if there is any, except for the short one that is uploaded online).

Gurji’s story confirms those of the director Roberts and other actors that they were misled–essentially tricked–by “Bassil” (actually “Sam Bacile”–or rather, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula) into making anti-Muslim propaganda.

Now it will be very interesting to learn how this plot was hatched in the first place. Was Nekoula, a Coptic Christian born in Egypt, trying in his own clumsy way to settle scores over brutal Islamist attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt over the last year? If so, his efforts have not been welcomed among his brethren in his former homeland. Granted, Nakoula, who is on probation for bank fraud, may not be the type to think about the consequences of his actions too deeply. On the other hand, his shady entrepreneurial streak (he may also have been involved in the manufacture of crystal meth) suggests that he may have intended to reap some profit from his Islamophobe porn.

Now who would pay money for that kind of illicit gratification?

One thought on “Not So Innocent: How “Desert Warriors” Became “Innocence of Muslims”

  1. Pingback: Harris v. Greenwald: Is there an Anti-Islam Bias in New Atheism? | Tragic Farce

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