Meet Steve Klein: The Right-Wing Extremist Who Consulted On Anti-Muslim Film That Sparked Middle East Protests
There is still confusion over who the filmmaker is behind the movie that sparked angry protests in Egypt over the flick's negative depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. But more information has emerged on a consultant to the film, thanks to Max Blumenthal, a journalist and fellow at The Nation Institute.
The latest on the filmmaker himself is that nobody seems to know who he is. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reports that Sam Bacile, "the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym." Goldberg's information came from a discussion with Steve Klein.
So who is Steve Klein? Blumenthal reports:
Klein is a right-wing extremist who emerged from the same axis of Islamophobia that produced Anders Behring Breivik and which takes inspiration from the writings of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Daniel Pipes.
It appears Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenter on Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s Heartland.” In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas.
Klein is also closely affiliated with the Christian right in California, organizing resentment against all the usual targets — Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, and even Mormons. He is a board memberand founder of a group called Courageous Christians United, which promotes anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim literature (including the work of Robert Spencer) on its website. In 2002, Klein ran for the California Insurance Commissioner under the American Independent Party, an extremist fringe party linked to the militia movement, garnering a piddling 2 percent of the vote.