There are reports that Tuesday's violence in Egypt and Libya may be connected to an internet movie that portrays the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a derogatory way and that video has a Bakersfield connection. The internet video is considered blasphemous by Muslims and a Bakersfield woman, who had an acting role in that movie, is shocked to learn it may be tied to the murders of four American diplomats in Libya.
Her name is Cindy. She lives in Bakersfield and asked that we not use her last name. She has a limited role in the internet video, "Innocence of Muslims."
The video was reportedly filmed in Los Angeles County. Scenes in a 14-minute trailer seen on YouTube portray the prophet Muhammad as a sex-crazed buffoon. Cindy appears in a scene talking about giving her daughter to Muhammad. Cindy is shocked at the video she's seen and says she was unaware of the director's true intent for this movie.
"Of course I was angry, upset. I first saw the trailer, I was confused. I was like what did he do to this movie?" said Cindy who acted in the movie.
The movie is filled with dialog that would anger most any Muslim but is it what triggered two attacks on U.S. diplomatic buildings Tuesday? One in Cairo was spontaneous, impassioned, and harmless. The other in Benghazi, Libya was focused and deadly.
Among the four Americans killed, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, who said this about his new post, "I look forward to building a prosperous and Democratic Libya."
Emad Meerza is President of the Islamic Shoura Council in Bakersfield and says the movie is incendiary. He has seen the movie and says it was meant to incite anger within the Muslim community.
"By doing this, they know they are offending to the deepest level. It's more than cursing your parents, your children. It's the worst thing you can say to a Muslim. So these are people that understand that and that's what they are trying to do," said Meerza.
As for Cindy, she has these words for the man who created the movie, Sam Bacile. "Sam, I would say to you, I thought you were a different kind of a man. You caused a war. You caused a war and I think that you really need to take this up with God. That's what I have to say to you, Sam."
Cindy tells us she thought she was playing the role of a mother in a movie about how life was 2,000 years ago compared to today.
The working title she was given for the film was "Desert Warrior."