Friday, November 9, 2012

"Innocence of Muslims" film-maker to spend next year in prison for probation violations

Make no mistake, the violations are not the real reason Mark Basseley Youssef is in jail.  No one will admit it, for to do so is to admit free speech needs to be curtailed for the sake of peace with Islam.  It matters little the history of Youssef, he is most likely a bad guy who took advantage of his relatives and the system for his own profit.  So what?  It is his views on Islam and how he was called to task for the bloodshed created my Muslims over his badly produced movie that created the atmosphere for his arrest.  The persecution of Youssef  should not be dismissed lightly, the implications for the future of free speech from this episode are very real and will affect us all.

From My Way November 7 by Greg Risling

Calif. man behind anti-Muslim film gets prison

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The California man behind an anti-Muslim film that roiled the Middle East was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison for violating his probation stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction by lying about his identity.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder immediately sentenced Mark Basseley Youssef after he admitted to four of the eight alleged violations, including obtaining a fraudulent California driver's license. Prosecutors agreed to drop the other four allegations under an agreement with Youssef's attorneys, which also included more probation.

None of the violations had to do with the content of "Innocence of Muslims," a film that depicts Mohammad as a religious fraud, pedophile and womanizer.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale argued Youseff's lies about his identity have caused harm to others, including the film's cast and crew. The movie sparked violence in the Middle East, killing dozens.

"They had no idea he was a recently released felon," Dugdale said Wednesday. "Had they known that, they might have had second thoughts" about being part of the film.

Youssef's attorney Steven Seiden said his client admits to being the film's scriptwriter but had no other involvement except what he described as being a "cultural adviser."

(...)After the hearing, Seiden told reporters he had a message to relay from his client.

"The one thing he wanted me to tell all of you is President Obama may have gotten Osama bin Laden, but he didn't kill the ideology," Seiden said.

Asked what that meant, Seiden said, "I didn't ask him, and I don't know."

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