A Pakistani official on Saturday placed a US$100,000 bounty on the head of the maker of an anti-Islam film that has sparked a wave of violence and anger, as Muslims mounted fresh protests worldwide.
Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour also called on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to join the hunt and help accomplish the "noble deed.''
Bilour spoke to reporters in the northwestern city of Peshawar a day after violent nationwide demonstrations against the "Innocence of Muslims'' film left 21 people dead and more than 200 injured.
"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,'' Bilour said, urging others to shower the killer with cash and gold.
"I also invite Taliban and Al-Qaeda brothers to be partners in this noble deed,'' he added. "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.''
Protests against the low-budget film, which mocks Islam, have erupted across the Muslim world, leading to more than 50 deaths since the first demonstrations on September 11.
That the person advocating murder for money is a Pakistani government Minister is absolutely outrageous. Any sympathy towards the Muslim community over the lampooning of its prophet in a spoof movie is fast evaporating.
By all means Muslims can feel aggrieved at the portrayal of the prophet whom they idolise. But violence is a completely unacceptable response, and it should be condemned.
Dad was dead right; two wrongs do NOT make a right.