Coptic leaders in the U.S. and Egypt are strongly denouncing "Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Islam film that has generated violent protests in dozens of countries, and appealing for calm. In Afghanistan, a suicide bombing related to the film killed 14 foreigners in Kabul today, bringing the total killed to 28 people in 10 countries, according to the New York Times.
In Southern California, Coptic leaders joined local Muslim leaders in issuing statements condemning the film, as well as "any attacks against religious communities, Coptic or Muslim in particular, both in Egypt and in the United States."
The statements said that neither the film nor its filmmakers should define the sentiments of the Coptic community.
As CT previously noted, media reports originally said the film was produced by a Jewish filmmaker named Sam Bacile. However, later reports have confirmed that Bacile was a false name, and that the film is instead likely linked to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian in Los Angeles who has disclaimed responsibility for the film.
As a result, the identity of the true filmmakers remains unclear. The Washington Post reports that "Joseph Nassralla Abdelmasih, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Morris Sadek — all Coptic Christians who live in the U.S. — have emerged as the producers and promoters of the anti-Muslim film."
But Nasralla, who runs a Christian nonprofit called Media for Christ and allowed filmmakers to use his office for shooting, claims he was misled regarding the type of film being produced. American actors who appear in the film also claim to have been misled about the film's true purpose.