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The Lady Of Heaven producer blasts Muslim protesters and accuses ‘mob’ of ‘poisonous rhetoric

The producer of a controversial Islamist film labeled “blasphemous” by outraged Muslims protesting outside cinemas has told critics to “get their heads out of the clouds.”

Showcase yesterday became the second silver screen chain to take The Lady of Heaven, a film about the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, from its locations after a protest by protesters.

The film has come under fire for portraying the Prophet Muhammad and his daughter Fatima, with most schools of Islam forbidding any depiction because they believe it is against the spirit of the religion, disrespectful and encouraging the worship of idols.

The Lady of Heaven has also been accused of inciting hatred between different sects in Islam.

But in a heated discussion with Roshan Salih, editor of the Muslim media platform 5Pillars, on Newsnight, executive producer Malik Shilbak hit back.

He said, ‘I think Roshan and others like him should get their heads out of the clouds, the world doesn’t revolve around them.

“Islam is a very complex religion with different interpretations around the world. Hundreds of millions of Muslims agree with what is in the film and believe in what is in the film.

“There are people all over the world who are okay with portraying the prophet, it’s just Roshan’s gang that don’t – they’ve bullied the world into believing that’s the only point of view, which it isn’t.” is.’

Muslims Protest Outside Westfield Stratford's Vue Cinema Over The Lady of Heaven

Muslims Protest Outside Westfield Stratford’s Vue Cinema Over The Lady of Heaven

Cineworld has said it has canceled all screenings of the film nationwide

Cineworld has said it has canceled all screenings of the film nationwide “to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.” Pictured: A crowd of protesters gathered outside the Cineworld in Birmingham on Sunday 5 June to protest the film’s release

How cartoons of the prophet Muhammad have sparked controversy and violence before

Cartoon during RE lesson

A teacher had to go into hiding after protests against a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed that he showed to students during a religious education class. The image, which was shown to children at Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire, sparked days of heated protests from parents and activists at the school gates.

The 30-year-old teacher, who was forced to flee his home, was suspended at the time but later acquitted when an independent investigation revealed he had no intention of causing offense. Earlier this year, it was reported that he was still in hiding.

Charlie Hebdo

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamist fanatics in January 2015 after posting cartoons allegedly insulting the prophet Mohammed. Twelve people were killed in the attack, including a number of cartoonists who constantly mocked Islam.

The magazine is now published from a secret headquarters in Paris, which is said to be under armed guard at all times.

Samuel Paty

Teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded outside the gates of the college where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, north of Paris, in 2020. The murder came after an online campaign led by Muslim parents angry with Paty for showing cartoons. of the prophet Muhammad to students. Paty had shown the cartoons – previously printed in Charlie Hebdo magazine – to students as part of a free speech lesson.

Mr Salih, to whom Mr Shilbak responded, is editor of 5Pillars, a controversial website funded by an organization associated with the UK’s only state-approved press regulator.

It recently faced calls to repay a £3,000 grant after it posted a homophobic video online, while also publishing conspiracy theories about terror attacks, including an article suggesting MI5 may be responsible for the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby arranged in 2013.

He had previously claimed: ‘There is no such thing as unfettered freedom of expression in this country – we have seen that with the ban on Russian TV channels in recent months.

“You can’t be openly homophobic or anti-Semitic or racist, so you shouldn’t be openly Islamophobic either. There is a real danger of sectarian violence in this country and this film could very well provoke that.”

He added: ‘Everything’ [Mr Shilbak] is provoking Sunnis because he is a youth extremist, he is the Shia Tommy Robinson.’

Shahid Ali, cleric who organized one of the protests, was also critical.

He told Sky News: ‘Our reservations are mainly the false story of the early caliphs of Islam, the prophet Mohammed’s closest companions, that they are terrorists.

“These figures are revered across the Muslim world by the vast majority of two billion Muslims around the world.

“When they are portrayed in this divisive and incendiary and incendiary film as terrorists – and then Muslims who naturally love and revere these figures, who are our fundamental figures of our religion – it impresses the viewer, especially those who have little or no minimal knowledge of Islam, that the central figures are indeed terrorists and that all Muslims who revere and honor them are similar.

“So this is an extremely dangerous and sectarian story that is very extreme.”

It comes after Health Minister Sajid Javid weighed in on the controversy, saying the cancellations were “an incredibly dangerous road.”

Made in Britain for £12 million, the film begins with the invasion of Iraq by ISIS and features a graphic jihadist assassination, before telling the story of Lady Fatima, one of the daughters of the founder of Islam.

Islamic tradition forbids the direct depiction of religious figures, with previous depictions of prophets sparking protests and even murders amid accusations of blasphemy.

Director Eli King portrays Fatima as a… faceless character, wrapped in a black veil to prevent this.

But protesters have accused the filmmakers of misrepresenting religious history and negatively portraying three of Islam’s most important figures.

Movie theaters have seen protests by Muslims claiming the film The Lady of Heaven is

Movie theaters have seen protests by Muslims claiming the film The Lady of Heaven is “blasphemous.” Pictured: Birmingham

Some cinemas have decided to pull the film from the cinema after the backlash.  Pictured: Cineworld in Birmingham

Some cinemas have decided to pull the film from the cinema after the backlash. Pictured: Cineworld in Birmingham

A video from the weekend appears to show a manager in a movie theater addressing a crowd and confirming that the film has been pulled, leading to cries of “Allahu Akbar.”

Starring former Coronation Street actor Ray Fearon, the film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival last year, but wasn’t released in the UK for the first time until June 3 this year.

John Stephenson, who directed the 1999 film Animal Farm and the 2004 film Five Children and It, acted as creative consultant.

And other critics have expressed anger that the negative characters were played by black actors rather than whites, which they say “arises from the racial bias against dark-skinned people.”

Why is The Lady Of Heaven so controversial? How film touches on tensions between Sunnis and Shiites

The controversial film Lady of Heaven has been banned from some UK cinemas after hundreds of Muslims protested against it. Large crowds have appeared outside cinemas in Bradford, Bolton, Birmingham and Sheffield in recent days to call for the film to be pulled from theaters.

The film and its creators have been accused of blasphemy for portraying the prophet Muhammad and his daughter Fatima. Most schools of Islam forbid any depiction of the prophet because they believe it is against the spirit of the religion, disrespectful and encouraging the worship of idols.

The film has also been accused of inciting hatred between different sects in Islam. Created by Shia, it was nevertheless banned in Shia-majority Iran, with the government saying it was intended to divide Muslims. The Sunni sect, which makes up 90 percent of the global Muslim population, has accused the film’s makers of deliberately portraying an extremist Shia perspective on Islamic history in order to create tensions.

Sunni Muslims are dissatisfied with the way some of Islam’s holiest figures are portrayed in the film, including the prophet’s third wife, Aisha, and two of his closest companions. Abu Bakr and Omar, who were the first two caliphs and are considered two of the holiest figures among the Sunnis, are portrayed as deceitful, underhanded and dishonest – characterizations that have caused great anger among the Sunnis.

Another complaint was about how the companions, and Aisha, were played by black actors, leading to accusations of racism. 5Pillars, an Islamic media organization, said: “Most Muslims will find the insults against three of the most beloved companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shocking and disgusting. But it’s also a deeply racist movie where all the major negative characters are played by black actors. Moreover, the film directly respects the Prophet (pbuh) by showing his face.’

There is also anger at the film’s writer, Sheikh Yasser al-Habib, a controversial figure in the Muslim world. A Kuwaiti Shia scholar based in London has previously angered Sunni Muslims by calling Aisha, the third wife of the prophet Mohammed, “an enemy of God.” The cleric was previously imprisoned in Kuwait and was stripped of his citizenship. Iran’s senior clerics have described him as a “mad man” and accused him of fueling tensions between Sunnis and Shias.

Executive producer Malik Shlibak said the film had gone to great lengths not to offend Muslims, adding that he was aware that the film contains characters “very sacred to nearly two billion people.”

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