Wednesday, September 12, 2012


In the West's struggle with Islamicists, the John Walker Lindh story, as it's generally understood, is archetypal: American goes to Muslim world, falls in with extremists, gets radicalized. But I'm beginning to wonder whether Innocence of Muslims, the film that set off rioting in Egypt and Libya this week, is the result of a mirror-image process of radicalization.

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg tells us that Sam Bacile, the maker of the film, who was initially reported to be an Israeli, isn't Israeli at all, according to Steve Klein, "a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, California ... who has been described in multiple media accounts as a consultant to the film." Goldberg's not the only person pointing this out, of course. But he has more:
I asked [Klein] who he thought Sam Bacile was. He said that there are about 15 people associated with the making of the film, "Nobody is anything but an active American citizen. They're from Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, they're some that are from Egypt. Some are Copts but the vast majority are Evangelical."
So if this is true, the filmmakers were part of Middle Eastern Evangelical communities (yes, they exist, frequently under siege), but they're now U.S. citizens -- American Evangelicals -- and they got the idea to make a movie, in America (or at least with fellow expats based in America) that, as Goldberg's Atlantic John Hudson points out, Bacile expected to cause bloodshed, one way or the other:
He knew the film would lead to violence. ... according to one of Bacile's consultants on the film, Steve Klein, the two knew full well that their incendiary movie would provoke violent reprisals. Klein told the Associated Press this morning that he warned Bacile "you're going to be the next Theo van Gogh," referring to the Dutch filmmaker murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2004. Klein said Bacile acknowledged that. "We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen," he told the AP. Well gentlemen, congratulations, you got your violent reprisal.
Meanwhile, Right Wing Watch has this, about Morris Sadek, a U.S.-based anti-Muslim activist originally from Egypt:
As the New York Times reported last night, Sadek drew attention to the obscure video clip "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."

... Sadek pulled his Facebook profile around 1 pm today, but we were able to take a look beforehand....

Sadek is ... a fan of the Republican Party, George Bush, Allen West (for president no less!), and number of other Islamophobic, conservative and/or Republican institutions and leaders....

So the filmmakers are U.S.-based and hang in Evangelical circles. The chief publicist is a cheerleader for the GOP. Hmmm ... do we need to start asking whether Evangelical churches and the Republican Party are breeding grounds for extremism?


Victor said...

"Hmmm ... do we need to start asking whether Evangelical churches and the Republican Party are breeding grounds for extremism?"


And they have been for decades - ever since Ronald Reagan figured that on top of the Southern Strategies hating on the N*ggers, he'd add some Dominionist Evangelical Christian Jesusy goodness to help the Republican Party win elections.

There is little, if any, difference between the Muslim Taliban and the American Christian Tealiban - just different Invisible Sky Wizards.

And I think when they investigate, if it's a real name, his parents, realizing they had a real potential idiot on their hands, named him Sam M. Bacile - my apologies to REAL imbeciles out there, who probably aren't nearly as stupid or dangerous.

Philo Vaihinger said...

It doesn't really need a provocateur. In a pinch, they can riot and murder about Jesus and Mo.

Ten Bears said...

I just bought up fifteen or so bibles from the thrift stores - gonna' have me a little downtown bonfire this evening.

I'm tempted to burn a cross. Afterall, what good be a better representation of the ugliness of the Jew/"Christian"/Muslim/Mormon dogs' Cult of Male Domination?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Wait, the guys who used to burn crosses just loved Christianity.

And the right kind of Christianity, too.

Pun intended.

Anonymous said...

I think Lindh is the wrong analogy. This is more like an updated, decentralized version of the "arms for hostages" ploy: the film makers are putting US personnel in harm's way in hopes of gaining political advantage.