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Charity head distances himself from film

Directional signage at a commercial office park lists the Christian non-profit organization Media for Christ (second from top) in Duarte, California on September 14, 2012. Media for Christ is the group that obtained a permit to shoot the anti-Muslim video Innocence of Muslims, said Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A., the agency that processes regional on-location film permits. Media for Christ describes itself as an evangelical Christian group, according to federal tax documents. The 13-minute English-language video has stoked violent protests in the Islamic world against the United States. UPI/Jim Ruymen
Directional signage at a commercial office park lists the Christian non-profit organization Media for Christ (second from top) in Duarte, California on September 14, 2012. Media for Christ is the group that obtained a permit to shoot the anti-Muslim video "Innocence of Muslims", said Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A., the agency that processes regional on-location film permits. Media for Christ describes itself as an evangelical Christian group, according to federal tax documents. The 13-minute English-language video has stoked violent protests in the Islamic world against the United States. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo

DUARTE, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The head of a religious charity was duped into loaning its California broadcast studio to film the anti-Islamic video "Innocence of Muslims," he said.

Joseph Nassralla, president of Media for Christ, offered the Duarte, Calif., facility to Nakoula B. Nakoula to make what Nassralla believed was a movie about Christian persecution, but had nothing else to do with the film, he said in a statement on the website of anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Gellar.

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The film depicts the prophet Muhammad in an unflattering light, and a trailer posted on the website YouTube has generated anti-American protest across the Arab world.

The final product "bore no resemblance to the film I thought he was making. Nakoula altered the film without anyone's knowledge, changing its focus and dubbing in new dialogue," Nassralla wrote.

Nassralla's charity operates "The Way TV," a satellite television network which broadcasts sermons, hymns and anti-Islamic rhetoric, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday, adding that a host on the network, Steve Klein, worked as a script consultant on "Innocence for Muslims."

Nassralla said he was drawn into the controversy because his charity's name was listed on permits for production of the film. He said in his statement he was unaware his organization was included on government filings.

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