From Marisa Martin at WND:
…the Libyan terrorists et al, turned their sights on Eric Allen Bell and accused him of making the “The Innocence of Muslims,” knowing full well it was a complete lie.
…The filmmaker summed up the recent campaign against his life for WND.com: “I stand falsely accused of being the director of the hit YouTube Islamo-comedy, ‘The Innocence of Muslims.’ I did not make that film, nor do I know the people who did, but that hasn’t stopped over a hundred Muslims from sending me death threats… or Islamic terrorists from placing a bounty on my head.”
The article is entitled “Counter-Jihad Filmmaker will not be Silenced”, although the url suggests that this has been amended from “Anti-Muslim Filmmaker will not be Silenced”. Bell’s travails have apparently included a reward for his death, posted in Urdu on a Facebook page called “Enemies of Pakistan”, along with the accusation in English that he was one of the filmmakers.
A older article on Frontpage includes the detail that:
The threats came, said Bell, following a series of blog posts on the website The America Muslim. The writer, Sheila Musaji, denied any involvement in linking Bell to the film.
Despite her denial, Bell said that shortly after the posts appeared he received a number of threatening messages on his Facebook page.
Bell wrote his own piece for the same site in which he drew attention to two September articles by Musaji (here and here). The first of these two pieces also refers back to a an earlier article with some general background to the film; it included the following reference to Bell as part of a profile of Joseph Nasralla:
Joseph Nasralla Abdelmasih, an Egyptian American Coptic Christian, is the head of Media for Christ who produced the film. He spoke at Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s hate group SIOA’s anti-mosque rally in 2010 (also attended by Morris Sadek) and at their Freedom Rally in 2011. In June 2012, Geller and Spencer held what they variously called AFDI/SIOA Historic Human Rights Townhall or AFDI/SIOA “Summer Night for Human Rights”, and which I called an anti-Muslim hate fest. Joseph Nasrallah and Eric Allen Bell attended this function which included many former Muslim speakers. In her articles, Geller includes a photo of herself and Nasrallah, and a photo of Eric Allen Bell sitting in the audience. He participated with Steve Klein and Gary Cass in an anti-Muslim student outreach effort titled 911 Defend Our Students. Geller said about Nasralla: Joseph Nasralla spoke at our 911 Ground Zero mosque rallies. He is a champion of human rights. SOURCES: – ** – ** – ** – ** – **
This was at a time when the media was scrambling for information about where the YouTube video had come from; Nasralla subsequently claimed that Nakoula had used the “Media for Christ” name without his “knowledge or permission”.
Musaji also noted the following:
I knew that in one of the profiles I had done for the Who’s Who in the Islamophobia/Arabophobia Industry, one of those individuals had mentioned planning a film about Prophet Muhammad. It took me awhile, and then I remembered that the individual was Ali Sina who runs Faith Freedom Int’l, and is a board member of the hate group SIOA which was founded by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
…In June 2012, Eric Allen Bell (who does have film experience) posted an article on Right Side News.
Musaji then quotes Bell’s article, highlighting passages of interest:
I could not help but remember reading that Muslim Apostate, Ali Sina, had announced a few months earlier his plans to make a full length feature film, promising to depict the true story of Mohammed… When the article was published, I received a lot of emails telling me that I should speak to Ali Sina about his movie idea, given that I had made some films and spent most of my career in the entertainment industry. So Ali Sina and I spoke. … I said I admired his courage and felt very strongly that this was a movie that had to be made. But I added that there was probably no way he would ever get a theatrical release. Movie theaters would be afraid of the violent backlash. The life of Mohammed would have to be released on DVD or online – streaming on demand. The production would have to be financed privately and the movie shot in secret locations.
In fact, Ali Sina is planning a different polemical anti-Islam film, but the above hardly amounts to a conspiracy to falsely accuse Bell of being behind Innocence of Muslims. Given the murkiness around the whole “Sam Bacile” deception, it was reasonable to draw attention to public statements and associations such as the above. Musaji went on to add:
Eric Allen Bell posted a hateful anti-Muslim screed on his FaceBook page on 9/11 (which said nothing about the “Sam Basile” film). Then, on September 14th, he posted an article on Front Page claiming that people wrongly connected his FaceBook post, and himself, with the unknown filmmaker who made the “Innocence of Muslims” film… I searched but could find only one blog post dated September 13th that mentioned Bell’s FB post, and that post simply countered the substance of Bell’s FB posting. I could find nothing anywhere about anyone claiming that Bell was the person responsible for the film. On September 16th, The Guardian published an article America’s ‘counter-jihadis’ fan flames of hatred across Middle East which quoted Bell… He said he had nothing to do with “Innocence of Muslims”, but said he endorsed its’ message. It would seem that the only identification of Bell with the filmmaker came from Bell’s own FaceBook fan page.
The Pakistani Facebook page shows that someone somewhere has indeed mistakenly linked Bell to the film, but that’s hardly Musaji’s fault and it is reasonable to wonder whether the threats he has received are primarily to do with his 9/11 article. Certainly, the claim in the WND article that “Libyan terrorists” have accused Bell doesn’t seem to be based on anything.
In a later piece, Musaji writes that Bell has also contacted her directly, accusing her of “placing my life in danger” and of a “cover up of numerous Islamic death threats”. She notes:
This truly is a delusional individual. I have never claimed he was the filmmaker, never said that he made up death threats, never libeled or slandered him, never covered up any death threats.
It seemed odd that Bell so regularly insinuated his name in discussions about making an anti-Muslim film. Now, he has announced that he will use 300 hours of film that he already has as the base for a film to be called “American Infidel”. He is requesting donations and says he only needs $200,000 to complete this film.
According to the WND article, Bell “metamorphosed from a typical left-wing, Maoist acolyte into someone resembling Mel Gibson’s character in ‘The Patriot'” as a result of his researches into the building of the Murfreesboro mosque; it seems that likely that “Maoist acolyte” here is simply flesh-creeping rhetoric meant to denote a general liberalism rather than a specific far-left ideology.
The Guardian, meanwhile, describes Bell as
a one-time scourge of Islamophobia who changed sides after concluding Islam wished to subjugate the world…
However, there’s not a great deal of evidence that he engaged in serious debate with anti-Islam activists, although he did sometimes leave supportive comments on Loonwatch. According to a July article there:
During the time Bell was filming his documentary [in Murfreesboro] he used to constantly email us, asking us to publish his writings and advertise his documentary, his articles were usually so terrible that we declined. There was always something strange about Bell, and this strangeness manifested itself when Bell joined the ranks of the JihadWatch looniverse.
When Bell’s documentary failed to achieve the payback he had hoped for, (he expected to make money off of the venture, just like he does from his GlobalOne.tv site, a new-age spiritual mishmash with adverts from psychics) he turned to funding from the Islamophobia movement.
Bell in turn has accused Loonwatch of being a “Terrorist Spin Control Network“.
UPDATE: An exchange on Twitter:
@Barthsnotes You should try getting your facts right before publishing an article where you know nothing of the topic. #tcot #tpp #gop #a4a (1)
@EricAllenBell As ever, the comments are open if you have anything you want to add. (2)
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