The Innocence of Muslims saga came one step closer to a conclusion on Wednesday, when a U.S. District Court judge sentenced Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to a year in prison for charges unrelated to the film. Nakoula, also known as Mark Basseley Youseff, faced eight probation violations for using fake names to get a driver's license after being convicted of bank fraud back in 2010. Judge Christina Snyder accepted a plea bargain from Nakoula's lawyers through which the defendant admitted to four of the charges, and the other four were dropped.
On his way to a federal prison, Nakoula couldn't help but stir up a little bit more trouble. After the trial had concluded, Nakoula told his lawyer Steven Seiden to make a statement to the press outside the courthouse. "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. Someone asked what Nakoula meant by that and Seiden admitted, "I didn't ask him, and I don't know." It sort of sounds like Nakoula is blaming Obama for not eradicating the Islam religion, doesn't it?
Regardless of who's to blame for what, it's probably safe to say that other parts of the world will criticize the United States for not being tougher on Nakoula. After all, just a couple of months ago, members of the Muslim community throughout the world were calling for his execution, and one Pakistani cabinet member even put a $100,000 bounty on his head, though he later distanced himself from that offer.
Nakoula is nevertheless concerned about his safety behind bars. His lawyers asked that he be put in solitary confinement, a request that was denied. Nakoula will have to stay in a cell, hang out in the yard and do all the other things prisoners in Southern California do. It won't matter what Nakoula calls himself there. His reputation precedes him.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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