ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistani government distanced itself on Monday from an offer by one of its Cabinet ministers to pay $100,000 to anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that the bounty on the filmmaker’s head announced by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour reflected his personal view and was not government policy.
Bilour said Saturday that he would pay $100,000 out of his own pocket to anyone who kills the man behind the inflammatory film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The filmmaker, who lives in the United States, was forced into hiding after the 14-minute movie trailer rose to prominence.
Bilour also appealed to Al Qaeda and Taliban militants to help eliminate the filmmaker.
The film, ‘‘Innocence of Muslims,’’ has enraged many Muslims for its portrayal of the prophet Mohammed as a fraud, a womanizer, and a child molester. At least 51 people, including the US ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the film, which also has renewed debate over freedom of expression in the United States and in Europe.
Adding to the anger in the Muslim world was a decision by a French satirical magazine to publish lewd cartoons of the prophet last week, prompting French authorities to order the temporary closure of around 20 overseas missions out of fear they would be targeted by demonstrators.
The US government has condemned the film and has sought to explain why it cannot be suppressed under American laws. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in New York for United Nations meetings, appealed to Muslims to show dignity and not resort to violence to protest the film.
Some of the most intense and sustained protests have come in Pakistan, where the role of Islam in society is sacrosanct and anti-American sentiment runs high. But even in that atmosphere, the bounty offered by Bilour has drawn criticism.
Bilour belongs to the secular Awami National Party, an ally in the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. His comments struck a nerve within his own party, which is considered anti-Taliban and has lost several leaders in the fight against the insurgency.
A party spokesman, Haji Adeel, said the statement was Bilour’s view, and that the party had sought an explanation from him. Pakistan’s government declared last Friday a national holiday — ‘‘Day of Love for the Prophet’’ — and called on people to take to the streets to protest the film peacefully. But the demonstrations turned violent, and at least 21 people were killed.
In Iran, the culture minister said his country will boycott the 2013 Oscars and not field a candidate for the foreign film category in protest against the video. Mohammed Hosseini said Tehran would not submit an entry for next year’s awards due to the ‘‘intolerable insult to the Prophet of Islam,’’ the ISNA news agency reported.