LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The makers of an anti-Islamic movie that set off violent anti-US protests in the Arab world were influenced by a southern California-based Coptic preacher, who made a business out of blaspheming, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.Steve Klein, a Christian who worked on the script, said preacher Botros was “a close friend” and compared him favourably to US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, the paper noted. Joseph Nassralla, the head of a Christian charity in Duarte where part of the movie was shot, praised Botros’s website, FatherZakaria.net.Meanwhile, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who organized the production, spoke openly of his devotion to the cleric while in federal prison, The Times pointed out.Botros’s son, Benyamin, said his father was unavailable, according to the report. “I cannot tell you where he is because his life is in danger,” The Times quoted the son as saying.According to the report, Botros was jailed several times in his native Egypt for trying to convert Muslims to Christianity and eventually was exiled.In Australia, he began an online ministry and insulted Islam, the paper said. As a result, Al-Qaeda allegedly issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling for his death and offering $60 million to his killer, The Times said. He relocated to Huntington Beach in southern California in the early 2000s and launched the Alfady network, the paper noted.