Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour. — File Photo

BRUSSELS: The European Union deplored Monday the call by a Pakistani minister for a $100,000 bounty to be put on the head of the maker of an anti-Islam film which has sparked deadly protests around the world.

“We deplore the call for a bounty,” Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton, told a press briefing.

“We are particularly concerned that this call should come from a member of the government even if the prime minister... has dissociated himself” from the remarks, Mann added.

Earlier on Sunday, the United States had also condemned Pakistani Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour’s offer of the bounty to kill the filmmaker.

Bilour on Saturday had offered a $100,000 “prize” for killing the filmmaker of “Innocence of Muslims” — an amateurish film made in the United States — and invited the Taliban and al Qaeda to take part in the “noble deed.”

The State Department weighed in Sunday, with an official recalling that US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “have both said the video at the core of this is offensive, disgusting, and reprehensible.

The official added: “But that is no justification for violence and it is important for responsible leaders to stand up and speak out against violence.” Therefore we find Mr. Bilour’s announcement is inflammatory and inappropriate,” the official said in a statement.

A spokesman for Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Sunday rejected the bounty promised by the railways minister as a “prize” for killing the filmmaker.

“This is not government policy. We completely dissociate (ourselves) from this,” a spokesman for the prime minister’s office told AFP.

Violent nationwide protests to condemn the film left 23 people dead on Friday when police used tear gas and live rounds to fight back protesters.

The producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is reported to be a 55-year-old Egyptian Copt and convicted fraudster, based in Los Angeles and currently out on parole.

US reports say Nakoula wrote and produced the disrespectful film, using the pseudonym Sam Bacile before being identified. Police questioned him before he went into hiding with his family.

The film has sparked outrage across the Muslim world, with protests reported in more than 20 countries and over 50 people killed in demonstrations or attacks.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Most Popular

LARGE_RECTANGLE_BOTTOM - /1029551/Dawn_ASA_Unit_670x280

Comments (92) Closed

Sep 24, 2012 10:34am
If anybody, anywhere makes fun of you, you hold out a threat to world peace? Sounds like plain and simple blackmail to me.
Sep 24, 2012 07:07am
B. Bilor should fix Railway first before handing out bounties. If he has money buy new train engines.
Iqbal khan
Sep 24, 2012 05:26am
Public should put a bounty for his head because he destroyed our railway system completely.
Sep 24, 2012 09:09am
Get the Shalimar Express form Karachi to Rawalpindi running on time before handing out bounty's on peoples heads Mr. Minister.
Sep 24, 2012 07:39am
Very highly inappropriate statement from a federal minister.
Sep 25, 2012 07:03am
He will win points with the electorate in the coming election. He has to prove he is capable of doing something after he has sunk the railways single handedly. Niether the US nor the EU have the right to be shocked at this action. Their own politicians habitually do reprehensible things to win some extra votes.
Sep 26, 2012 05:17am
Well said....
Sep 24, 2012 07:44am
This minister is a perfect bridge between state and "stateless" actors.
Abdullah Hussain
Sep 24, 2012 07:27am
Fixing bounty is originally the brain child of America. Bilour only did what he thought is the only way to stop insults.Double standard has to stop. What action has the US taken to address the the plight of the Muslims around the world for the filthiest of comments made by American against Islam.
Aizaz Moin
Sep 24, 2012 02:22pm
This is why I am convinced that the sooner our Imams are educated up to graduate levels, educated in Arts and sciences as well as in Judaism and Christianity. Then made to work for a couple of years on commercial projects before taking up respectable salaried positions as head of their mosque, with a guaranteed pension scheme. In other words respectable civil servants. Only then will they be able to re-invent Pakistan and it's society. Because Pakistani society is so deeply religious that it will accept changes coming from the mosque rather than schools, at this stage.
Sep 24, 2012 07:52am
There is nothing Beyond our Religion. What Bilour did is his love for Holy Prophet (S.A.W). If America is offering bounty over Hafiz Saeed without having any evidence, then why can't Bilour offer a bounty over that producer.
Sep 24, 2012 09:35am
I do not agree with what you said. Islamic Republic of Pakistan has Kalima Tayyeba in the Foundation stone.
Sep 24, 2012 09:21am
He is a nut case. We do not follow our religion and our Prophets and then blame others for mocking our hypocracy. Shame
Sep 25, 2012 05:38pm
its truth you can done first time good work
Sep 25, 2012 06:40pm
never mind the bounty on some fools head spend that money on your people by the way where did he get all that cash from?
Sue Sturgess
Sep 25, 2012 05:03am
There is a huge difference between a terrorist who kills innocent people and a movie maker who simply produces a film. If everyone who made a bad movie was killed, there would be no-one left in Hollywood
Sep 24, 2012 06:43am
The white house should first take notice of all barbaric acts of infringements taking place n its Congress and senate when they start passing bills on our provinces(Baluchistan) and citizens(Shakeel Afridi) I would advise our minister to donate that money in the railway which he has brought to a standstill
Sep 24, 2012 08:54am
Well majority of the people missing a valid point, This genteleman has loads of assets including the cinema houses which were burnt actually he want tos save these assets from further damage through such foolish slogan
Sep 24, 2012 02:12pm
Well said.
Sep 24, 2012 02:11pm
You're making up a scenario, this the same as "if tomorrow Pakistan becomes a super power and America becomes a third world" Talk about facts and stats, be practical, be sane.
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 24, 2012 09:33am
what islam is the railway minister teaching the ordinary people? 'peaceful religion' shame on him - where is the teaching of your prophet gone on this occasion which all muslims boast
Muhammad Alvi
Sep 24, 2012 03:23pm
When I see the picture of Bilour and think of his action, the first thing that comes to mind is, "How did he become a minister?"
Malik Irsahd
Sep 24, 2012 11:19am
Salute Bilour !!!
Sep 24, 2012 03:51am
Bilour trying to gain cheap publicity after failing with managing railways. He should be charged with inciting violence.
Sep 24, 2012 02:18pm
Pakistan continues to prove to the rest of the world that it can sink lower and sad and embarrassing.
Sep 25, 2012 03:54pm
The minister can dare to say such things because he knows that he has a huge constituency applauding him. Even his PM dare not dismiss him from the govt. Its a frightening thought for people who believe in rule of law. India has its own share of such politicians.
Vinod kapoor
Sep 25, 2012 01:45am
If USA Europe china and India open free immigration visa for Pakistanis only Taliban and very few mullahs will be left in Pakistan.
Sep 24, 2012 04:47pm
you nailed it!!
Sep 24, 2012 04:47pm
what a impresive act by billour and i am realy first time happy by a pakistani minister 'mans act'
Sachal Lakhwani
Sep 24, 2012 03:38am
So when they announce a bounty for Osama Bin Laden thats allowed, but when a Patriotic Muslim Leader announces a reward for the film maker, its wrong....Different rules for different people.
Sep 24, 2012 03:40am
Announcement of a bounty on a foreign national is not a right for the Railway Minister. He is not the head of the State orf parliament. It appears he is ignorant or illitrate of politics of power and he definitely shown this ignorance by anouncing the bounty. He should be disciplined.
Sep 24, 2012 03:32am
US doesn't think twice before issuing bounties on Pakistanis, then why the fuss now? Their law permits freedom of speech, and Pakistani law supports blasphemy law; both are important to each other. I'm not debating upon what is right or wrong, just debating on the actions itself.
Sep 24, 2012 06:31am
It looks Ghulam Ahmed Bilour made huge corruption in Railways to give $100,000
Sep 24, 2012 06:31am
Does the railway minister know that taking bribes is also blasphemous since he is under Oath
Sep 24, 2012 03:55pm
He is just trying to earn some brownie points. Why doesn't the govt. do anything about educating people to not destroy their own homeland and private property.
Sep 24, 2012 07:58pm
completely agree
Sep 24, 2012 09:41am
By the way what Wasim said is a statement coined by England. The orders from the church were getting more powers and obedience from public than the King himself. This is the reason why today Pope sits imputently without giving out any strong statement about the Religious Blasphemies. The world we live in has double standards.
Sep 24, 2012 03:39pm
To those who are calling it "Freedom of Speech", in legal terms it's a violent threat. Your logic is flawed when you compare it to the bounty issued by US. First, two wrongs doesn't make a right, second, just because Americans are issuing bounties and acting out of law you are going to do exactly the same? it's a pathetic excuse, where's your moral high ground? moreover can you provide the same rights United States of America provide to minorities? How many mosques, hindu temples and religious rallies haven been attacked in USA? how many non Christian and non Jewish citizens have been prosecuted under the law of blasphemy? as a matter of fact your own Muslim Arab countries don't even give you work permit let alone citizenship. You have "freedom of Speech" but you do not have "freedom of consequence", here is how it works, you can say and do anything you want, write a poem or an article, paint a picture or make a movie, as long as you are "not involved with another person directly", your expression can be critical or even insulting but it cannot be physically threatening. You can make another movie to answer his allegations, but threatening him with physical violence is not going to solve any problem. What federal minister did here is that he issued a "violent threat" to someone who is not a citizen of your country, he is not under your legal jurisdiction, the person could be the citizen of a friendly state. It's going to reflect very poorly on your foreign policy. Please be mindful of your statements.
Sep 24, 2012 04:51pm
Yes , a million people will go after the bounty but none will return even after the bounty is done with.
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 24, 2012 10:12am
lets for instance, America tomorrow announces easing its visa policies for pakistanis - thousands of same people will be queueing the embassies. hyprocrates!!!!
Sep 24, 2012 01:59pm
probably to go after the bounty!
Sep 25, 2012 05:43pm
If the followers of a religion are not peace loving, then how could you say the religion is peaceful? There is some disconnect here! I am baffled! Oh god, please enlighten me!
Hassan Shah
Sep 24, 2012 03:53pm
This comment made my day. Talk about Railway minister issuing bounties. We Pakistanis have held ourselves hostage to our own selves. Imagine the valuable lesson from destroying someone's shop in the name of protest.
Sep 24, 2012 04:48am
But it is OK to set bounty on heads of people the WEST does not like?
Sep 24, 2012 08:04am
Bilor is far from a being religious. Actually his cinemas were burnt by the protestors. They are after him. He wants to save himself and his businesses from any further attacks. Announcing bounty was meant to please the jihadis and Taliban. He should be removed for promoting violence and hatred.
Sep 24, 2012 08:57am
Is it not very ridiculous that if Pakistani would make malicious comments against Muhammad (SAW) all of religious and non- religious give FATWA on the other hand if same would be done by the white skinned all of them became deaf and dumb, though the character of Mr balour would be questioned but there is no question that either his statement is according to islam or not. He gave same fatwa as KHUMANI gave against RUSHDIE.
Sep 24, 2012 02:21pm
Whatever he said was within the pakistani law. Remember there is Pakistani blasphemy law that call for the death sentence of any one who insuts the prophet. cheif Justice should work first changing that law.
Sep 25, 2012 04:22am
totally agreed
Zeeshan Jamil
Sep 24, 2012 05:06am
The one of the corrupt has said " Good " ,while others (the American slaves) expressed their dissociation (Specially American Based Political Leaders) from him(Bilour).
Sep 24, 2012 04:58pm
Sep 24, 2012 04:43pm
you may be right. But there will be millions wanting to go to america, just to kill "that" guy. And yes, hypocrites are found everywhere.
Sep 24, 2012 03:27am
The minister should have been careful with his words. Assuming what he said was out of emotions, frustration, and good intentions, he will never be understood or supported by anyone for his statement.
Sep 24, 2012 04:54pm
very good post
Sep 24, 2012 04:55pm
no brother its the the say of the prophet and their are conditions you should learn them first
Sep 24, 2012 04:42pm
I am agreed to you..
Sep 24, 2012 11:47pm
Absolutely agree with you. I'm sure every true followers of the "religion of peace" agrees with you.
Sep 24, 2012 08:50am
I concur with Wasim Khan but having read about and witnessed the atrocities committed in the name of relgion, I am not holding my brearth for peace and prosperity for my fatheland. That said, I would love to be proven wrong by events in Pakistan .
pervaiz memon
Sep 24, 2012 05:28am
It is freedom of speech Bilour has right to say anything as they have right to make film
Sep 24, 2012 03:09pm
Love of Prophet (PBUH) does not need a bounty
omer mallhi
Sep 24, 2012 07:07pm
its election time and he this is just his sorry attempt to stay IN if you know what i mean.
Sep 24, 2012 05:00pm
Anyone who has a slightest love for the Prophet will endorse Mr Bilour. I salute him if he has announced it sincerely without any other cause. What to talk of Holy Prophet such type of remarks cannot be tolerated by a normal person. Well Done Mr Bilour. This is the only act of yours which is liked by me
Sep 24, 2012 10:35am
Perfectly stated.
Shahid Meo
Sep 24, 2012 10:34am
interesting info about real motives of Bilour going passionate to announce bounty.
Aizaz Moin
Sep 24, 2012 02:15pm
Gerry Not all Pakistanis are hypocrites
Sep 25, 2012 05:27pm
Please spend $100,000 on railways first
Akhter Husain
Sep 24, 2012 08:16am
The announcement of bounty by Railway Minister is the result of uncontrolled freedom of expression the philosophy floated by western civilizations.This is just an announcement no act at all.The reaction shown is nothing but Hippocratic,that is ,they want freedom for themselves not the Muslim world.I believe that Mr Bilour's utterances were bad and irresponsible even as a commoner where as he is representing the nation as minister.His right of expressing him self must be acknowledged without any ifs and buts Or slam and punish all those who degrade, insult, and make fun of prophets there by hurt the feeling of followers.
Sep 26, 2012 08:06am
our Minister should be congratulated for his courage. As the leader of the Islamic world only Pakistan can protect the image of Islam and its values
Sep 24, 2012 05:46am
I wonder where and how did this Minister Mr. Bilour make his money? His bad taste for encouraging for others to commit murder must be a crime in Pakistan and lets hope that the Pakistani Government will file charges against him.
Sep 25, 2012 03:17pm
Ask for killing someone is not freedom of speech or justify killing is not freedom of speech. it's try to scold. if he wants he needs to take that movie and dialogue by dialogue counter each line or ignore the film. Banning also not a solution these days.
Sep 25, 2012 10:26am
Well.. if that's the true story, there remains no need to read comments any more..
Sep 24, 2012 05:45am
Only in Pakistan could such a thing happen. The man actually reached out to Al-Qaeda and Taliban - people responsible for murdering tens of thousands of Pakistanis - and he remains in office and the news continues to be reported around the world.
Sep 24, 2012 04:34am
I just hope that in the next election there is atleast one sensible cabinet minister. Pakistan already has a tarnished image. What is the point of this announcement. If Mr Baloor has $100,000, why doesnt he built schools, roads or factories in his constituency.... And please dont give open invitation to Tailban or Al Qaeda... they have created enough havoc in our country
Sep 24, 2012 08:36am
He should be arrested for treason enticing violence with the help of people that are enemies of Pakistan state. Hello Cheif Justice where is the suo moto now
Wasim Khan
Sep 24, 2012 04:29am
I have no hope for Pakistan. Religion & State should be separate.
Sep 24, 2012 06:03pm
It saddens me that a responsible member of Pakistan government would make such an irresponsible statement. It saddens me even more that some muslims on this forum think that is real Islam. I must be following a different Islam. The Islam that I follow preaches value for human life and the prophet that I love forgave people who insualted him, mocked him and hurt him, time and time again. All his life is full of mercy and forgiveness rather than revenge and murder.
Jamshed Khan
Sep 24, 2012 03:26pm
Americans also have bounties on so many 'so called' terrorists!! Just a thought.
Sep 25, 2012 02:28am
US declared a bounty of $10 million on Hafiz Saeed. Over here the Pakistani government should have done the same. Take back the words of bounty declared by Bilour and officially declare a bounty of $10 million.
Sep 24, 2012 04:12am
Still PM is on top, declaring one day holiday for setting Pakistan on fire !!!
Chairman Mao
Sep 24, 2012 04:11am
very odd for a country which only recently offered reward/bounty on (proved innocent) Hafiz Saeed, maybe i am not aware if the rules of engagement have been modified in the recent past or maybe there is a special law for one part of the world and another for the rest of us.
Sep 24, 2012 06:34pm
why rest of world has to be shocked? Isn't that a gesture of "free speech"???
Sep 24, 2012 06:52pm
Well said, i happen to agree with you 100%
omer mallhi
Sep 24, 2012 07:05pm
for what???
Sep 24, 2012 07:23pm
i m nt in favour of Mr Bilour's statement.......but we have to make certain things straight such as abusing Islam or Muhammad(PBUH) is in the domain of ''freedom of speech'' but defying holocaust isn't, publishing disrespectful pictures of Muhammad(PBUH) is "freedom of speech" but publishing Kate Middleton's topless pictures isn't and announcing bounty on the head of Hafiz saeed is ''freedom of speech" but announcing bounty on the head of Sam bacile isn't and the list goes on......... first we have to remove these double standards and then make our judgment whether Mr Bilour is right or wrong.....
andy fr dc
Sep 24, 2012 01:56pm
He is teaching the Real Islam.
sheikh siddeeque
Sep 24, 2012 05:03pm
He and his type are the very reason why Islam is mocked and humiliated.
andy fr dc
Sep 24, 2012 01:55pm
What is really interesting is that the rest of the world is neither shocked nor surprised. This action is emblematic of Pakistan today, a factory of death and hatred.
Neer Nayan
Sep 24, 2012 06:49pm
Testing times for all of us. Let us all try to forgive, forget, and PRAY! True prayers for good-for-all, are the most potent blessing bestowed upon us, the defaulters, by ALLAH TAALA, The Most Merciful!
Sep 24, 2012 02:21pm
firstly, where will He come up with this $100,000 which is close to 1 carore rupees? last time i checked, railway was in a hugee deficit... secondly, I send out a message to the entire world, which is as follows: I'm not a big practicing muslim (unfortunately) but the amount of Islamic knowledge I have, there is no way does our religion ask us to kill anyone....even if it is our worst of enemies hence, just ignore this ur own research and learn about islam if you have to. the moment everyone stops ASSUMING stuff, this world will be a far more better place.
Sep 24, 2012 04:50pm
Well said Tanvir!
Ash Mirza (USA)
Sep 25, 2012 02:25pm
Islam is very peaceful religion. In my opinion Most muslim need to learn more about Islam, including my self...So we can live peacefully, and set an example for the world. And we can learn Islam any part of the world, including NON-MUSLIM countries. No one can stop us. Reason : Becaous ISLAM teach us PEACE , LOVE and HUMANITY for sure. (Think Positive not Negative Please.) Sincerely, Ash Mirza (USA)
Sep 24, 2012 09:37am
good or bad lets stick to the point: American Freedom of Speech vs World Peace
Ye Z
Sep 24, 2012 09:16am
When the US places a bounty for killing a US-defined terrorist, it's perfectly okay but when Bilour does the same, it's inciting violence. Talk about bigotry! Mind you, it's the film-maker who ignited the fire and incited violence, and thus fits the definition of a terrorist. Ironically, the US also fulfills the definition of terrorist, as do Taliban and Al-Qaeda, etc.