2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

TOP INTERNATIONAL NEWS

International Affairs: #4 "Innocence of Muslims"

"Innocence of Muslims," a low-budget U.S. film that mocked the Prophet Muhammad, sparked a violent international response.

The 14-minute film trailer was posted on YouTube, prompting riots throughout Muslim communities. Libyan protesters were said to have exploited the situation after the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked by al-Qaida terrorists on Sept. 11.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a man identifying himself as Sam Bacile, a 52-year-old California real estate developer, said he had made the film. The Associated Press, though, said "Sam Bacile" was an alias for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, aka Mark Basseley Youssef. Using an alias was a violation of Nakoula's probation for a check fraud conviction, and he was jailed. The Egyptian-born Coptic Christian and others involved in the film were sentenced to death in Egypt, a largely symbolic gesture.

Following the tragedy, the actress featured in the film fought to have the trailer legally removed from YouTube. In early December, her second attempt was denied.