Pakistan minister places bounty on anti-Islam filmmaker

(AFP) – 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 worlwide.

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.
A French satirical magazine’s publication this week of cartoons mocking the  Prophet Mohammed has further stoked anger.
The producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is reportedly a Los  Angeles-based 55-year-old Egyptian Copt and convicted fraudster, currently out  on parole.
US media 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.
Thousands of Islamist activists in Pakistan staged demonstrations again  Saturday but there was no repeat of the previous day’s widespread violence.
More than 5,000 protesters, including hundreds of women, marched towards  the parliament in Islamabad chanting “We love our Holy Prophet” and “Punishment  for those who humiliated our Prophet”.
Some 1,500 people from the hardline Islamist Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Sunni  religious groups rallied in front of the US consulate in the eastern city of  Lahore, chanting “The US deserves only one remedy — jihad, jihad”
Smaller protests took place in the southwestern city of Quetta, as well as  in Peshawar, where six people died in Friday’s protests, and in the southern  port city of Karachi, where 15 people were killed Friday.
Witnesses estimated that more than 45,000 people joined Friday’s nationwide  rallies, mainly members of right-wing religious parties and supporters of  banned terror groups.
Those numbers, however, were still considered small in a country of 180  million.
Four more people died overnight from wounds they received during the  protests, taking toll of those killed across Pakistan on Friday to 21, health  officials said. 
The combined total of wounded in Karachi, Peshawar and the capital  Islamabad was 229.
In Nigeria, meanwhile, tens of thousands of people protested in the second  city of Kano, burning images of US President Barack Obama and stomping on the  American flag.
The procession of men, veiled women and children stretched for several  kilometres (miles) through the city, the largest in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim  north.
They shouted “death to America, death to Israel and death to the enemies of  Islam”. There were no reports of violence.
The demonstration was organised by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a  pro-Iranian group that adheres to the Shiite branch of Islam.
In Lebanon, thousands of supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah movement took  to the streets in the southern town of Bint Jbeil.
Women in black chadors carried colourful Islamist flags alongside young  children holding the Koran, the Muslim holy book.
Hezbollah parliamentary representative Nawaf al-Moussawi told the crowd the  film was “… not merely a trivial creation carried out by a group, but  American politics intended to be disseminated to the Western world.”
He also warned against reprisal attacks on the Christian community.
In east Jerusalem about 500 Palestinians, accompanied by a marching band,  protested against both the film and the cartoons in the French satirical weekly  Charlie Hebdo.
In Germany, 1,500 people staged a peaceful protest in the western city of  Dortmund, a day after similar demonstrations in other German cities.
A German far-right group’s threat to screen the video has prompted heated  debate over whether or not the authorities should ban the film on security  grounds.
In neighboring Austria, about 500 people protested outside the US embassy  in the capital Vienna.
In France, riot police were out in force in several parts of Paris to  enforce a ban on protests, a week after an unauthorised demonstration against  the film led to 150 arrests.
Social networks had been awash with appeals for French Muslims to defy the  ban and hold fresh protests.
French police have arrested a man in the western city of La Rochelle for  having allegedly called on a jihadi website for Stephane Charbonnier, chief of  satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, to be decapitated.