SAN FRANCISCO ( — An appeals court Wednesday ordered YouTube to remove a controversial anti-Muslim film that officials say sparked violence in the Middle East two years ago.

In 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced the film’s creator, 56-year-old Mark Basseley Youssef, and seven Coptic Christians to death in absentia for making, The Innocence of Muslims, which was filmed here in Southern California.

READ MORE: 3 Dead, 2 Injured When Gunfire Erupts At House Party In Inglewood

Youssef, who has gone by several different aliases including Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, served time in prison for probation violations stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction. He spoke to CBS2’s Michele Gile last year when he was released from a halfway house to an Orange County pastor.

He insisted his film was anti-terrorism and not anti-Muslim even though Muhammad was depicted as a pedophile and womanizer.

“I would like to apologize for any inconvenience and any misunderstanding,” Youssef said. “What’s in my script, some people are misunderstanding it and they feel something bad in their feelings because they misunderstand what I am talking about.”

Several of the film’s actors have said they were unaware of the film’s anti-Muhammad plot. One of them filed two lawsuits to have the film removed from YouTube.

The makers of the film obtained a one-day permit to shoot the film at a Los Angeles County ranch last year. FilmLA, which handles the permits, says the movie was listed as “Desert Warriors” at the time, according to the Associated Press.

READ MORE: Instagram Rolls Out New Feature Allowing Certain Influencers To Charge For Content

The deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were initially blamed on fallout from the film.


Filmmaker Behind Anti-Islam Film Released From Halfway House

Police Beef Up Security At Religious Congregations After Fallout From ‘Innocence Of Muslims’

2nd ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Actress Says Actors Were Unaware Of Film’s Anti-Muhammad Plot

MORE NEWS: Black Restaurant Week Kicks Off Sunday In Long Beach

‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Actress Says Film Has Turned Into ‘Nightmare’