Nakoula Basseley Nakoula will face one year in jail thanks to his making the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims, but he said he has no regrets about making the incendiary movie.
Nakoula was taken into custody in California in September, charged with making false statements to police about Innocence of Muslims. Speaking to The New York Times, Nakoula said he stands by the movie and its anti-Muslim messages.
“I thought, before I wrote this script,” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula said, “that I should burn myself in a public square to let the American people and the people of the world know this message that I believe in.”
Nakoula said he was inspired to make Innocence of Muslims after the Fort Hood massacre in 2009, which he believed was violence committed “under the sign of Allah.”
The movie was originally credited with provoking the terrorist assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including the ambassador. Though it is disputed if Innocence of Muslims was the true cause of the violence, the movie did lead to protests across the world including in Yemen, Morocco, Iran, and Iraq.
As The New York Times reported, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s making of Innocence of Muslims was shrouded in lies:
“A few years ago, Mr. Nakoula told some of the crew members he had gathered, supposedly to make “Desert Warriors,” that the project would have to be put off. He had cancer. Treatment was needed, far away, and they would not be able to reach him. His family shared a similar story with church officials.
“Mr. Nakoula, it turns out, was not going away for cancer treatment, although the time did overlap with the prison sentence for bank fraud, which the crew knew nothing about. (Mr. Nakoula pleaded guilty this month to violating his supervised release in that case and received a one-year sentence.)”
These lies surrounding Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and the making of Innocence of Muslims caught up with the filmmaker, the Los Angeles Times noted. When Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal ordered Nakoula detained, she cited his “lengthy pattern of deception” and added that he poses “some danger to the community.”