1 American Dead in Egypt, Libya Protests

Film from US that ridicules Mohammed sparks outrage

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 11, 2012 3:56 PM CDT | Updated Sep 11, 2012 6:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – Protesters climbed the walls of the US embassy in Egypt's capital today and brought down the American flag, replacing it with a black Islamist flag to protest a US-produced film attacking the Prophet Mohammed. Hours later, armed men in eastern Libya stormed the US consulate in Benghazi and set it on fire as anger spread. A Libyan security official says one American consulate employee was shot dead in the assault and another was wounded in the hand. Details were still sketchy.

The origins of the video are a bit murky, but a trailer in English on YouTube ridicules Mohammed as a fraud, a womanizer, and a madman. It reportedly depicts him having sex and calling for masseuses. Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian in the US known for his anti-Islam views, said he was promoting the video on his website and on TV. Sam Bacile, an American citizen who said he produced, directed, and wrote the two-hour film, said he had not anticipated such a furious reaction. Both said the main point of the film is intended to show how Coptic Christians are oppressed in Egypt, a reflection of their contention that Islam is inherently oppressive. For several days, Egyptian media have been playing excerpts and blaming Sadek for it.

Egyptian protesters climb the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.   (Nasser Nasser)
Protesters chant slogans amid orange smoke outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo.   (Mohammed Abu Zaid)
Protesters chant slogans amid orange smoke outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo.   (Mohammed Abu Zaid)
Egyptian protesters stand on the sidewall of the U.S. embassy.   (Nasser Nasser)
Egyptian protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans.   (Nasser Nasser)
Egyptian protesters standing on the sidewall of the U.S. embassy move down an American flag pulled down from the embassy in Cairo.   (Nasser Nasser)
Egyptian protesters climb the walls of the U.S. embassy.   (Nasser Nasser)
Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo.   (Mohammed Abu Zaid)
Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo.   (Mohammed Abu Zaid)
Egyptian protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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