A prominent Pakistani is, once again, offering a six-figure monetary reward to anyone who kills the producer of the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” that has gained notoriety for allegedly sparking the violent protests that have spread throughout the Muslim word.
While the allegation has been proven to be baseless, it has nonetheless become a convenient and timely excuse for the renewed violence.
Former Pakistani lawmaker Ikramullah Shahid said that he would pay $200,000 to anyone who kills the filmmaker, CNN reported.
Approximately two weeks ago, Pakistani Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour personally offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who would kill the filmmaker. Bilour said he was speaking for himself and not as a government representative.
Bilour was asked whether he was concerned about committing or condoning a crime as a government official.
"I am a Muslim first, then a government representative," Bilour said, according to CNN. He said he invited the Taliban and al Qaeda to carry out the assassination.
While many in the predominantly Muslim country welcomed the offer, the foreign ministry in Islamabad made it clear, just hours after President Asif Ali Zardar landed in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting, that he bounty offer reflected Bilour's "personal view and had nothing to do with the official policy of the government of Pakistan."
Neither of the offers mentioned the filmmaker by name. Although, U.S. officials say Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian, is behind the privately produced amateur film.
Nakoula was arrested last week in California and accused of violating his probation on a bank fraud conviction.
Members of his family have gone into hiding, fearing their lives, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has said.