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'Innocence of Muslims" Actress Speaks Out About Deception: Muhammad Was Never Mentioned

An actress who appears in the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" that has stirred violent protests in the Muslim world, says she was deceived into believing she was filming "Desert Warrior," and that Prophet Muhammad was never mentioned by anyone on the set.

By Elisa Sanchez, EnStars on Sep 17, 2012 02:05 PM EDT
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Afghan protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Kabul, September 16, 2012. Hundreds of Afghans protested against a U.S.-made film they say insults the Prophet Mohammad.
Afghan protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Kabul, September 16, 2012. Hundreds of Afghans protested against a U.S.-made film they say insults the Prophet Mohammad. (Photo : Reuters)

An actress who appears in the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" that has stirred violent protests in the Muslim world, says she was deceived into believing she was filming "Desert Warrior," and that prophet Muhammad was never mentioned by anyone on the set.

The actress, Anna Gurji, says the original movie was about a comet falling into a desert and ancient tribes fighting over it. A year after filming, she claims, the movie was dubbed without the actors' permission, the lines and names of the characters were changed and the movie was morphed into "Innocence of Muslims," she wrote in a letter to Neil Gaiman posted on his website.

"The movie that we were doing in Duarte was called 'Desert Warrior' and it was a fictional adventure drama. The character GEORGE was a leader of one of those tribes fighting for the comet."

Gurji explains that she played the role of Hilary, a young girl sold against her free will by her parents to a tribe leader known as George. 

In the "Innocence of Muslims," George became Muhammad.

"There was no mention EVER by anyone of MUHAMMAD and no mention of religion during the entire time I was on the set. I am hundred percent certain nobody in the cast and nobody in the US artistic side of the crew knew what was really planned for this "Desert Warrior," she said in a letter to Gaiman.

The actress, also claims that "Innocence of Muslims" was dubbed.

"People ask what's my reaction after seeing that. Shock. Two hours after I found out everything that had happened I gave Inside Edition an interview, the duration of which I could not stop crying. I feel shattered," she wrote.

The movie has sparked violent protests in U.S. diplomatic missions around the Muslim world. Last Tuesday, an assault against the U.S. consulate in Lybia killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens. The outbursts have expanded to more than 20 countries including Afghanistan, Indonesia and Pakistan, according to the New York Times.

Muslims regard the movie as blasphemous toward the Prophet Muhammad.

The man behind "Innocence of Muslims" has been identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, according to the Associated Press. 

He was arrested in 1997 for attempting to manufacture metamphetamine, according to the Daily Beast.

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