Chaos Continues Across the Middle East
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is the first man to be arrested in connection with the production of the anti-Islam film at the very origin of the violence. Investigators from the US are assessing whether he has violated the terms of his probation for a prior fraud conviction. Nakoula, who resides near Los Angeles, denies any involvement in the film and volunteered himself for questioning.
The film, Innocence of Muslims, first came to light on YouTube in the form of a 14-minute trailer posted by a user called ‘sambacile’. An Arabic translation of the dialogue was dubbed in over the top of the film. No film-maker of this name is known to authorities and they suspect Nakoula of using it as a pseudonym. Nakoula’s criminal record lists bank fraud and drug offenses as his convictions and he is not allowed to use the internet without the permission of his probation officer.
Although the arrest has been made, it is been stated that any film-makers involved in the project have not committed any crimes for which they can be punished. The first amendment grants freedom of speech and to prosecute would be to violate these rights. The allegedly blasphemous film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanising killer and it also explores themes of homosexuality and paedophilia, all of which are deemed incredibly offensive in Islam.
The United States government has ordered all non-essential diplomatic staff to leave Sudan and Tunisia with their families and is urging all US citizens in the area to do the same. Travel to Sudan and Tunisia from the US is also being strongly advised against as violence continues. The US embassies in both of these countries have been attacked by anti-US protesters insulted by the anti-Islam film that has caused so much chaos.
Sudan has refused access to the country to US Marines who were awaiting deployment to protect the embassy. German and UK diplomatic facilities have also been targeted by protesters in the area. Canadian embassies in Sudan, Libya and Egypt were closed temporarily as a precautionary measure. Amongst the many who have lost their lives in the attacks so far is Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, who died when the consulate building in Benghazi was set fire to.
Egyptian Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, has tried to dispel the violence by claiming that Muslims are peaceful people who condemn violence – a statement that is bound to fall on deaf ears around the globe at this time. He also made a statement asking that the US does all it can “to stop people insulting Islam”.
Al-Qaeda has voiced their intentions for a fresh wave of attacks against Western embassies, a threat that is being taken incredibly seriously.
Source: BBC News