September 23, 2012 Faith Matters

Comments by Pakistan’s Railways Minister – Ghulam Ahmed Bilour

“We deplore the comments made by the Pakistani Railways Minister, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, who has put a $100,000 bounty on the head of the Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the individual who put together the low-budget trailer for the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film. Fueling the flames of anger and counter-reaction, the statement has once again put Pakistan in the limelight at a time when stability and calm heads are needed in the country.

Such comments by a senior minister do nothing for the reputation of Pakistan, nor are they part of the strong Islamic tradition which talks about protecting life. There needs to be confidence in Pakistan’s government and such comments do not help reassure either the international community or Pakistani citizens at a time when tensions are running high. They certainly do not help human rights work in the country. Whilst the anti-Islam video is deplorable and was developed to stoke hate against Muslims, the best way to respond is to get people to rebut such poison through media, internet and other communication sources, rather than call for the death of anyone. Such talk by the Minister simply re-enforces a twisted belief that Muslims are violent – which they are not.”

Fiyaz Mughal OBE, the Director of Faith Matters, a counter-extremism and human rights organisation which works in both Pakistan and the UK.

Faith Matters works in countries like Pakistan, as well as in the UK. Anti-extremism projects in Pakistan have included the Peghaam project: