A Pakistan government minister has offered a $100,000 bounty for the death of the maker Innocence of Muslims, an anti-Islam film produced in the US that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, causing the deaths of four Americans in Libya, as well as the deaths of many protesters.
Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour stated, according to Perth Now, on Saturday that:
“I announce today that this blasphemer who has abused the holy prophet, if somebody will kill him, I will give that person a prize of $100,000.”
He also invited members of the Taliban, as well as al-Qaida, to take part in what he called the “noble deed.” Bilour was likely offering his own bounty, instead of acting as a government official when he made the offer, notes Al Jazeera.
The producer of the film is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian and convicted fraudster. It is currently out on parole, living in Los Angeles. Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, who reported the news from Islamabad, cautioned:
“Let’s not forget that this is a minister that has destroyed the Pakistani railways.”
Bilour’s announcement on Saturday came after more than 5,000 protesters marched on Parliament while chanting, “We love our Holy Prophet” and “Punishment for those who humiliated our Prophet.”
Along with the protests in Islamabad, a portion of the group Jamaat-ud-Dawa staged a protest in front of the US Consulate in Lahore, chanting, “The US deserves only one remedy – jihad, jihad.”
Along with his initial offer for a bounty, Bilour also stated, according to The Associated Free Press, “I also announce that if the government hands this person over to me, my heart says I will finish him with my own hands and then they can hang me.”
Nakoula, who wrote and produced the controversial film Innocence of Muslims, was questioned by police on Friday night before he went into hiding with his family. While the activists continued their protest in Pakistan on Saturday, it was peaceful and had no repeat of the previous day’s widespread violence that killed more than 20 people.
Witnesses to the protest have said that Friday’s nationwide rallies mobilized more than 45,000 in Pakistan, most of whom are members of right-wing religious parties and those who support banned terror groups.