Anti-Islam film-maker in hiding after protests
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An Israeli filmmaker based in California went into hiding after his movie attacking Islam's prophet Muhammad sparked angry assaults by ultra-conservative Muslims on United States (US) missions in Egypt and Libya, where one American was killed.
Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location Tuesday, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that the 56-year-old intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.
Protesters angered over Mr Bacile's film opened fire on and burned down the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing an American diplomat on Tuesday. In Egypt, protesters scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner.
"This is a political movie," said Mr Bacile. "The US lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we're fighting with ideas." Mr Bacile, a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, said he believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam's flaws to the world.