The Pakistani government on Monday distanced itself from an offer by one of its Cabinet ministers to pay $100,000 for anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film, saying the offer does not represent official government policy.
The offer by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has drawn criticism in Pakistan even though anger against the film runs high in this predominantly Muslim country.
Bilour said Saturday that he would pay the reward money out of his own pocket. He also appealed to al-Qaida and Taliban militants to contribute to “a noble cause” of eliminating the filmmaker.
The film, made in the United States and entitled “Innocence of Muslims,” has enraged many Muslims around the world for its portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester. At least 51 people, including the U.S. 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 U.S. and in Europe.
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