7 sentenced to death over anti-Islam YouTube video

The seven Egyptian Christians were tried in absentia and convicted of insulting Islam and Mohammad in "The Innocence of Muslims."


Kris Holt


Published Nov 28, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 6:33 am CDT

An Egyptian court sentenced seven people to death over their roles in an anti-Islam film that was released online and caused violent protests in Muslim nations.

The seven Egyptian Christians were tried in absentia and convicted of insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammad in The Innocence of Muslims, according to Reuters.

Two 13-minute trailers for the film, which was made in California, were released on YouTube this summer. They led to violent widespread riots and protests, including at the London offices of YouTube’s parent company Google.

The clips were also connected to the riots that resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other consulate staff in Benghazi in September.

Among those handed the death penalty by the Cairo court was Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged creator and distributor of the film, who is serving a one-year sentence in the U.S. for violating probation due to his participation in the film.

One cast member has filed suit against Nakoula, accusing him of fraud. Cindy Lee Garcia claimed she was inaccurately portrayed, arguing that she believed the film to be an adventure drama called Desert Warrior. She claimed there was no mention of the Prophet Muhammad and claimed Nakoula dubbed over her lines with anti-Islamic sentiment.

In an interview this week, Nakoula said he had no regrets about producing The Innocence of Muslims—even though a Pakistani cabinet minister had issued a $100,000 bounty on the filmmaker.

Photo via sam bacile/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 28, 2012, 1:36 pm CST