Gov't distances itself from offer made by Cabinet minister to kill anti-Islam film creator
The Pakistani government yesterday distanced itself from an offer by one of its Cabinet ministers to pay $100,000 to anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world.
The film Innocence of Muslims has enraged many Muslims for its portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womaniser and a child molester. At least 51 people, including the United States (US) ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the film, which also has renewed debate over freedom of expression in the US and in Europe.
Adding to the anger in the Muslim world was a decision by a French satirical magazine to publish lewd pictures of the prophet last week, prompting French authorities to order the temporary closure of around 20 overseas missions out of fear they'd be targeted by demonstrators.
Some of the most intense and sustained protests have come in Pakistan, where the role of Islam in society is sacrosanct and anti-American sentiment runs high. But even in that atmosphere, the bounty offered by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has drawn criticism.
Bilour said Saturday that he would pay $100,000 out of his own pocket to anyone who kills the man behind the inflammatory film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The filmmaker was forced into hiding after the 14-minute movie trailer rose to prominence.
Full Caption: Filipino Muslims shout slogans during a rally outside the Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines, yesterday to petition the highest court to ban from YouTube the American-produced film 'Innocence of Muslims' that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad in the Philippines. The low-budget film has angered Muslims in most parts of the world with protests turning violent resulting in the death of dozens of people. The front banner reads: "There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger."