16 Sep 2012

Egypt PM urges measures to end Islam insults

7:19 am on 16 September 2012

Egypt has urged the United States to take steps to prevent any repeat of the offence caused by an internet film that mocks Islam.

Egyptian prime minister Hisham Qandil condemned the video as disgusting and said millions of people had been insulted.

Mr Qandil told the BBC that while it was unacceptable to insult the Prophet Mohammed it was also not right for peaceful protests to turn violent.

The film is being blamed for the violent protests across the Arab world and beyond. US and other western embassies have been attacked, including the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi where the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

The Egyptian prime minister said the US authorities and others should take the necessary measures to ensure that "one and a half billion people and their beliefs" were not insulted.

He again condemned the violence of some of the protests as unjustifiable and said there was evidence that some of the demonstrators in Cairo had been paid.

A man suspected of being involved in making in the film is being questioned by US probation officers.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, an Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California, has denied involvement.

The BBC reports that original posting of a 14-minute trailer for the film on Youtube came from an account linked to the name 'sambacile'. Clips have also been shown on Arabic TV channels.

No film-maker by the name of Sam Bacile has been traced, and US authorities suspect Nakoula Basseley Nakoula of using the pseudonym.