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Pakistani minister stands by anti-Islam film-maker bounty

Published Sep 25, 2012 01:37pm


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Photo shows Pakistani Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour.—Reuters Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani government minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, who offered $100,000 for the death of a film-maker who produced an anti-Islam movie, stood by the bounty on Tuesday, saying it was the “only way” to stop insults to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Railways minister Bilour sparked international criticism when he offered the blood money, also urging Taliban and al Qaeda militants to carry out what he called the “noble deed”.

The government and Bilour’s own party, The Awam National Party, have distanced themselves from the reward for the person behind the crudely-made “Innocence of Muslims” disrespecting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and sparking violent protests across the Muslim world.

Bilour said a businessman from Lahore has offered to put up a further $400,000 for the reward and said that freedom of speech should not be used as an excuse to insult Islam.
But Bilour insisted public opinion was behind him in Pakistan – which has seen dozens of protests against the film including nationwide rallies on Friday that ended in bloodshed and looting, with 23 people reported killed.

“I expressed my personal view and faith. I stand by my declaration,” said Bilour. “My faith is non-violent, but I cannot forgive and tolerate (this insult).”

He said a businessman from Lahore had offered to put up a further $400,000 for the reward and said that freedom of speech should not be used as an excuse to insult Islam.

“Killing is not a good way, but right now it is the only way, because no action has been taken from Western countries (against the film-maker),” he said.

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 film, using the pseudonym Sam Bacile before being identified. Police questioned him before he went into hiding with his family.


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Comments (65) Closed

Aftab Sep 25, 2012 10:47pm
I live in USA and now I agree with other people who says " Muslims are intolerant and very violent race"
ahsan Sep 25, 2012 06:59pm
I will pray for you......
Daud Sep 26, 2012 05:32am
What kind of God does this man believe in? Think about it.
Human Sep 26, 2012 05:14am
You don't deserve to be a minister.
observer Sep 26, 2012 02:51am
I am totally okay with ANP but I dont like the irresponsible statement by the individual minister as the statement is already disowned by both ANP and government. Sep 26, 2012 06:49am
Incompetent Minister of Pakistan.....
Hussain Sep 26, 2012 02:57am
I very humbly request the Minister to to get the railway on track also.
FX-1 Sep 27, 2012 11:21am
Apple and oranges...but you seem not able to tell the difference.
deepak Sep 26, 2012 08:58pm
That is the saddest part... Faith is never violent but humans are. Faith teaches love and morality more than anything.
Animal Sep 27, 2012 12:21pm
Why? Please give reasons...
abdullah Sep 26, 2012 02:10am
Not a problem with his freedom of speech. Please step down from your ministerial position - relinquish your parliamentary seat. Then go out on the street with the folks you are trying to woo and say whatever you want Mr. When you hold an official position - you represent the government; that is not your personal view sir!
Joseph Cannes Sep 26, 2012 04:13am
Really!! Half a million dollars! Why dont you take that money and clean up the streets of Karachi? Educate your children. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Take care of your flood victims. fix your railways. fix your power plants. Because no amount of your money will silence freedom of speech. And is your religion so fragile that some depction like this will destroy it? Or, is it your faith in your religio so shallow? BTW, you have no problems descrating other religions and other peoples belief. And why is pakistan leading this fight? You're not the keeper of Islam or as people in US calls it - Crazy Religion of Allah and Peace.
Reader Sep 27, 2012 11:19am
Amir Sep 26, 2012 03:10am
All talk no action. Best thing would have been for OIC to get all it's members to ban Google. Once they realise billions of dollars of lost revenue this will all be resolved within days.
Afaque Ahmed Balouch Sep 25, 2012 06:02pm
heads off to you dude you rocks i am with you
Rajesh Sep 25, 2012 07:44pm
When is this minister going to be sacked so that pakistan can have some standing in the world. Money for the blood is not the answer. Time to grow up.
n.qureshi Sep 25, 2012 06:27pm
where did he get the $.he should give it to charity at home and get the trains going.
Asim Sep 25, 2012 05:57pm
shahbaz Sep 25, 2012 06:00pm
good observation....u are right
ashish Sep 26, 2012 01:58am
true courage will be if he can run Pakistan railway ...
Minister Sep 25, 2012 02:23pm
The minister is trying to hide his incompetence to develop the railway department and to get the consideration of the people for upcoming elections. The ANP has nothing left with to attract voters, the name of the province is changed and there are no talks about Kalabagh. So this could be a potential issue to ensure his seat in the national assembly for the next 5 years. Hopefully he will succeed!
Yawar Sep 26, 2012 01:30am
Please seek re-election by doing something constructive for Pakistan and not by playing with people's emotions.
ali hashim Sep 25, 2012 07:15pm
well said Bro!!
zahidmaqsood Sep 25, 2012 06:34pm
wow wow super mnister..i love his offer wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.. ;
jacksbleedingliver Sep 25, 2012 10:47pm
I was wondering if I was the only one who read that. I am non violent unless someone does something that I don't like then they should die
Razzaq Sep 25, 2012 06:10pm
I love it.
Adam Sep 25, 2012 06:21pm
Bravo Pakistan. Every time someone offends you, go ahead and kill more of your own. Who cares!
Saif Sep 25, 2012 06:23pm
All power to the good Minister!
Pyarali Khoja Sep 25, 2012 05:41pm
Mr Bilour, please use this money to repair railway engines. How much income tax you have paid in last 4 years. When r u going to resign.
Asim Sep 25, 2012 10:30pm
Not when it is coming from a senior elected representative of a government to incite murder through terrorism. You have responsibilities at home and national representation globally. You may protest but with basic manners.
Feroze Sep 25, 2012 10:29pm
Will the Pakistani President remove this man from his Cabinet?
Syed W. Ali Sep 26, 2012 02:28am
Bribery, corruption, and human right violations are just a few ways we Pakistani's disrespect the Prophet every living moment. And yet that is not worthy of the good minister's attention. This is just "sad".
XY-Z Sep 27, 2012 12:44pm
He sure has attempted to earn his place in the Here-After. At least a deposit...
Martin Sep 27, 2012 12:55pm
Das Capital Sep 27, 2012 12:59pm
@deepak: "Cheap publicity..." $100,000=Rs.1,000,000 is not cheap in any currency, certainly not when earned in Pakistan.
vjjjjjjjjjjj Sep 26, 2012 06:33pm
$400,000 is a good money the minister should first think of in investing in railways first.
deepak Sep 26, 2012 08:35pm
Cheap publicity.. incompetent leaders always try to get political mileage on the line of faith, sect, region.. Unless people are divided they will rule on the line of divide without doing anything... If you are son of the land then do something for common people.
Sue Sturgess Sep 26, 2012 03:20pm
I am not sure of movie availability in Pakistan ... but I recommend that anyone who can, watch the movie .. Lord of really poses one question ... why is it that govts who say they cannot afford education and health care ... can always afford to buy ammunitions and make war? It is always about priorities.
Sue Sturgess Sep 26, 2012 03:25pm
if someone insults you , why would you protest by destroying your own property?
Mustafa Sep 25, 2012 09:11pm
IN all honesty all this money could be better used to help the poor or a dozen or so other public sectors like power, agriculture heck even railways itself which aren't doing too good. It get's hard to feel patriotic at times with examples like him
love islam Sep 25, 2012 09:02pm
we are all with u mr bilour
U. Saifi Sep 25, 2012 10:25pm
I wish he would concentrate on the job he has been tasked with. On the other hand he can save the 100,000 and become a bounty hunter himself.
Practical Sep 25, 2012 10:19pm
Has the Honourable Minister and the Lahore businessman who is contributing $400,000.00 paid tax on this money or is it bribe money or public money? When people have so much money then does Pakistanis need Aid
ragu Sep 26, 2012 12:33am
I agree. Offering money to kill is definitely freedom of speech; Why not try it close to him in your own towm and see how people react?
Honest Babe Sep 25, 2012 01:53pm
"My faith is non-violent" but I want this guy killed..nice!
Peace Sep 25, 2012 11:32pm
This is ridiculous this guy insults the prophet instead of using diplomatic channels what we do is protest and kill our own people. Is that waht western countries want divide and rule. This minister instead of saying I will do my job properly fix railways puts a bounty on that idiots head. then what that guy would be killed and more protests or celebrations and more people killed. and he says my religion is non violent. Allah loves everyone and wants everyone to leave a peaceful life
Abdullah Hussain Sep 25, 2012 07:46pm
Don't mix things together.
Shan Malik Sep 26, 2012 12:10am
Do a noble thing and donate the money for welfare of women.
am Sep 25, 2012 11:57pm
Really? Killing someone who you don't agree with is now "Pakistani free speech"? No wonder this country is going to hell in a handbasket. Neither the minister nor you have any concept about Islamic justice and jurisprudence is about. Just because you call yourself a "Muslim" does not make you one. No wonder the Muslim world can't evolve. It's going back to the middle ages forever and it's people like you who are responsible.
Naveed Sep 25, 2012 03:20pm
He should pay to rebuild the church his supporters looted and burn down, that would be a forgiving and a shining example of what Islam is all about! Should the "Western Countries" hold all the Muslim Countries responsible for this treachery like he does for the actions of single hate monger? Sep 25, 2012 04:24pm
Good observation, man..... Every one is trying to ride bandwagon.... Just incite emotions of people
Ijaz Sep 26, 2012 01:19am
Bilour, wow using Prophet for your political gain. Shame on you. FYI, Film maker does not live in Pakistan, He lives in USA. Can you explain how the money will be arrange for his head?
T Sep 25, 2012 05:44pm
Zindabad !
khan Usafzai Sep 25, 2012 05:51pm
this is Pakistani freedom of expression and freedom of speech , so have to respect now this as well
khan Usafzai Sep 25, 2012 05:50pm
this is Pakistani freedom of expression and freedom of speech , so have to respect now this as well ...
Faisal Sep 25, 2012 02:34pm
I hate "ANP" but have to admire the courage of this man
Ram Narayanan Sep 25, 2012 09:49pm
Where is this man's forgiveness gene?
GH Nabi Sep 25, 2012 04:44pm
i love u minister for this great stand you have taken for the islam. i salute your courage
Vinod kapoor Sep 25, 2012 01:55pm
And how much has he offered to poor of his area since ever
Humanity Sep 25, 2012 06:35pm
He should donate all his money to poor families and victims of the name of his prophet.:)
aisha Sep 25, 2012 11:27pm
100k is a huge amount.. can the minister specify where he got the savings from
sami (usa) Sep 25, 2012 11:32pm
First, let me say, I am not by any chance bothered by the silly movie. The right reaction to the movie should have been no reaction. That said, as disgusting and distasteful is his offer of reward of blood money. I have to believe that he too is entitled to freedom of speech. If what he is encouraging is carried out, he should face the consequences of his actions, under the law, just as any other person who commits such crime. He certainly will be accountable to God, and to the same prophet he is purporting to protect.
Shahid Butt Sep 26, 2012 12:55am
Looks like he is really taking stand on this issue. Please pay the tax on this $100,000. first and then put the money in the ESCROW account. Where is FBR to follow this $100000. They do not read this minister statement?
ali hashim Sep 25, 2012 07:18pm
He is a Hero.
M.Siddique. Sep 25, 2012 10:37pm
Nice to see someone can read between the lines. What a laugh,for someone claiming to be a follower of a non violent faith,and yet wants to be part of a violent act in some way.As long as Pakistan has ministers of this caliber,that country just can not progress.