PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While investigators try to determine exactly who is responsible for the murderous acts in Libya, others are trying to pin down the background of Sam Bacile.
So far, he appears to have come out of nowhere — raising the possibility of a hoax.
If he does exist, a match is struck in California by Sam Bacile, supposedly, an Israeli-American real estate developer, writer and director of an amateurish Anti-Islamic film titled: “Innocence of Muslims,” said to insult the Prophet Muhammad.
Thousands of miles away via YouTube, the movie trailer is seen and believed to provoke rioting in Egypt and Benghazi, Northern Libya where the U.S. Consulate burns and Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others were killed by outraged Muslims.
On Penn Avenue, Abdullah Salem – whose last name means “peace” – covers his grill and market with murals blessing the peacemakers. He finds what happened in Libya truly tragic.
“As a Libyan, I am extremely shocked that this happened in Libya and I don’t think it’s a norm for Libya. I think it’s an isolated incident,” Salem says.
Salem says the Basile video is no excuse for the reaction in post-Quadafi Libya and that the burning and murders are not representative of the Libyan people or the Islamic faith.
“There’s always going to be ignorant people. There’s always going to be racist people. There’s always going to be bigots and it’s no excuse to drop yourself down to their level,” Salem adds.
“This world, as you know, is full of fanatics with causes,” says Dan Simpson, associate editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Simpson spent 35-years with the State Department, serving as an ambassador three times and lived in Benghazi, Libya for 2-years.
While underscoring free speech, he sees the Bacile film as plain bad judgment and, Libya, as a country coming out of 42-years of repression.
“In the meantime there are literally dozens of armed militia who are nothing more than gangs – just this side of criminal,” Simpson says.
Both Salem and Simpson are hopeful that the situation can be contained quickly and that there can be some stability in a very unstable part of our world.