The story goes that Sam Bacile, an Israeli living in America, created a crude video that so inflamed Egyptian sensibilities that they had to besiege the American embassy in Cairo. I’ve been wondering how they got wind of that silly video in the first place. Now I’m wondering if this whole thing wasn’t a set-up, including video. It turns out that there is no Sam Bacile. Scrape away the top layer, and you get the claim that it’s a pseudonym.
Scrape away the next layer and you find that there is a Sam Bassel, who is an Egyptian and who created the original video that was crudely dubbed into something inflammatory:
Actually, there’s basically no evidence that “Sam Bacile” even exists. The closest person who fits that description (at least electronically) is a self-proclaimed Egyptian “movie-maker” in California, who calls himself “Sam Bassel” on Facebook. Bassel has been registered on Facebook since 2010, and has posted regularly about the movies he supposedly produces, including the one that was used as a pretext for the Egyptian riots.
“Hello, I am a producer in a America and I live in Hollywood California,” he wrote in a July 15 post, well before the controversy erupted in Egypt. “I recently produced a movie that I believe to be one of the most historically important movie of our times. It is a 2 hour long movie about the entire life of the Prophet Muhammad from start to finish. Everything that is depicted in the movie is very true and well documented in all historical books that are found and taught in all Islamic countries.”
Bassel has posted about the film often over the past few months. According to one post, the movie took Bassel 12 years to complete and “blames America for the wars that occurred recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
I have no proof whatsoever, but I’ll tell you what popped into my head: the Mohamed cartoons. What happened was that a Danish newspaper editor refused to be cowed by sharia strictures and took it upon himself to publish cartoons showing illustrator’s imaginings of Mohamed’s face. Some clearly mocked him or implied that he was violent. And then nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.
Events reached a head over those cartoons — with violent, murderous riots all over the world — when an Imam took it upon himself to republish the cartoons. More than that, since they were insufficiently inflammatory in the Imam’s estimation, he added a few cartoons. The truly foul ones — such as Mohamed with a pig face or Mohamed’s face on a dog’s body — weren’t from the Danish cartoonist (something that should have been obvious, given how primitive they were, compared to the more sophisticated imagery in the Jyllands-Posten.
Instead, the most offensive images came directly from Imam Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban’s own hands. He created those disgusting pictures specifically to spur riot and rapine. He succeeded, too, because the Muslim mob is nothing if not easily led.
This faking technique worked well once before to stir up the mob. Who’s to say that we haven’t just witnessed the technique being used again, and to the same effect: Inflaming the Muslim masses. This doesn’t mean Mr. Sam Bassel is the culprit. It just means that, based upon past history, this is as likely to be a set-up as it is to be a genuine example of American free speech.