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"Innocence of Muslims" filmmaker arrested on unrelated charges

In our last post, we told Los Angeles readers about how an actress who appeared in "The Innocence of Muslims," the YouTube film that has incited riots in Muslim countries for its unflattering portrayal of Islam, tried to sue on the grounds that she was conned into appearing in the film and was never told of its true content.

The actress had her lawsuit tossed out, but last week, the California man who seems to have played the principal role in the film's creation was arrested. However, his arrest didn't have anything to do with "The Innocence of Muslims."

Rather, the 55-year-old man was arrested for violating the terms of his probation. He was convicted of federal check fraud in 2010 and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Part of his probation was that he was not allowed to use the Internet for a five-year period unless his probation officer permitted it. Federal probation officials claim that he violated that provision. It certainly seems that posting a video to YouTube would constitute use of the Internet, but he may have had someone else upload the film; officials have not said what the man did that violated his probation.

The story behind the man, who is a native of Egypt, and "The Innocence of Muslims" is still somewhat murky. Authorities believe he is affiliated with a radical group that agitates on behalf of Egypt's Christian minority. They do not know why, however, he chose to make a film that depicts Mohammed, the founder of Islam, as a womanizer, child molester and fraud.

Source: The Washington Post, "California man behind anti-Muslim film arrested on probation violation," Sept. 27, 2012

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