‘I Am Nakoula’: Anti-Islam Moviemaker Now Cult Hero
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is many things: a huckster, a convenient scapegoat, a terrible filmmaker. But to the members of America’s Islamophobic fringe, the producer of “The Innocence of Muslims” is something altogether different. He’s a victim.
Nakoula is a man being punished by the Muslim extremists who have infiltrated the White House, and now want to criminalize any criticism of the Prophet, according to anti-Islam crusaders like Robert Spencer. “He is a political prisoner,” Spencer says.
Never mind the fact that Nakoula seems to have tricked his actors into making a viral video that depicted Muhammad as a child molester. Never mind Nakoula’s conviction for bank fraud, which earned him a 21-month sentence in federal custody and a ban on using assumed identities, after he used 14 different aliases. Never mind the fact that Nakoula not only appeared to violate that probation by using the identity “Sam Bacile” when producing his video, or the fact the he doesn’t even seem to have been convicted under his real name. (In court Friday, he said he was really Mark Basseley Youssef. He changed it back in 2002 because “Nakoula is a girl’s name and it cause me troubles,” he claimed.)
To his defenders, it may even be kind of appropriate for Nakoula to go by so many names. To them, he’s become less of a man and more of a symbol - a prism for projecting a thousand conspiracy theories about a Muslim president gone mad with power, ready to unleash his scimitared hordes.
“He has been arrested not for the technicality of the probation violation, but for insulting Muhammad. His arrest is a symbol of America’s capitulation to the Sharia,” Spencer writes.
“I am Nakoula Basseley Nakoula,” blogger Scott Johnson adds.