(ynet)Iran’s government will “track down” those responsible for making an amateurish film clip mocking the Prophet Mohammad, a senior official said, Iranianmedia reported on Monday.
The video made in California and posted on YouTube portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer and a fool. It has ignited a week of violent protests across the Muslim world.
Iran’s vice president says Teheran will ‘search for, track down and pursue guilty person who has insulted 1.5 billion Muslims in the world’; officials demand apology from US over movie
“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns … this inappropriate and offensive action,” First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said, according to the Mehr news agency.
“Certainly it will search for, track, and pursue this guilty person who … has insulted 1.5 billion Muslims in the world,” he said.
The Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, condemned to death the Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie in 1989 for his novel “The Satanic Verses,” saying its depiction of the Prophet Mohammad was blasphemous.
Iranian officials have demanded that the United States apologize to Muslims for the movie, saying it is only the latest in a series of Western insults aimed at Islam’s holy figures.
Rahimi did not give details on how Iran would pursue the makers of the film in his remarks, which the Iranian Students’ News Agency said he had made at a cabinet meeting on Sunday.
The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, last Tuesday and several other people have died in protests around the Muslim world against the video entitled “Innocence of Muslims.”
The identity of those directly responsible for the film is still murky. Clips of the film posted online since July have been attributed to a man named Sam Bacile, which two people linked to the film have said was probably an alias.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian widely linked to the film in media reports, was voluntarily questioned on Saturday by US authorities investigating possible violations of his probation for a bank fraud conviction.
An Iranian religious foundation said on Saturday it was increasing its reward for the killing of Rushdie, though he had nothing to do with the film, offering a total of $3.3 million for anyone who carried out Khomeini’s death sentence.
Rushdie has become the latest to speak publicly about Amnesty’s difficulties: Salman Rushdie: Amnesty International is morally bankruptTHE Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie has accused Amnesty International of “moral bankruptcy” for working with a former terror suspect from Britain.
Rushdie, whose plight was championed by Amnesty when he was placed under a fatwa by the Iranian regime for his novel The Satanic Verses, said the charity had done “incalculable damage” to its reputation by collaborating with Moazzam Begg, a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay, and his organisation Cageprisoners.
His accusation follows the suspension this month of Gita Sahgal, a senior Amnesty official, who raised concerns about the organisation’s links to Begg and Islamists.
“It looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong,” said Rushdie.
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty UK, said it took criticism “seriously” but would continue to press for “universal respect” for human rights.Amnesty International has done its reputation incalculable damage by allying itself with Moazzam Begg and his group Cageprisoners, and holding them up as human rights advocates. It looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy, and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong. It has greatly compounded its error by suspending the redoubtable Gita Sahgal for the crime of going public with her concerns. Gita Sahgal is a woman of immense integrity and distinction and I am personally grateful to her for the courageous stands she made at the time of the Khomeini fatwa against The Satanic Verses, as a leading member of the groups Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism. It is people like Gita Sahgal who are the true voices of the human rights movement; Amnesty and Begg have revealed, by their statements and actions, that they deserve our contempt.