Morocco has banned the controversial British film The Lady Of Heaven for its “blatant falsification of established facts in Islamic history”.
British cinema chain Cineworld has already canceled screenings of the film after protests over its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Lady Fatimah.
Now, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM) has issued a statement saying that no cinema in the country will be granted a license to show the film.
Morocco’s Supreme Council of Ulemas strongly condemned the film, saying its author, Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Yasser al-Habib, had been stripped of his Kuwaiti nationality because of his “extremist ideas”.
He describes “the incarnation of the Prophet” as a “heinous act which cannot be accepted by Muslims” and says he “categorically rejects the gross falsification of established facts in Islamic history”.
The Lady Of Heaven is believed to be the first on-screen portrayal of Lady Fatimah’s life.
Most Muslims find any portrayal of their prophets highly offensive, making attempts to do so extremely controversial.
The filmmakers say they went to great lengths to prevent a holy person from being portrayed by an actor.
Instead, they chose to convey them through a mix of CGI, lighting, and visual effects.
Film ‘could lead to communal violence’
But Roshan M Salih, editor of British Muslim news site 5Pillars, warned it could still lead to violent outcry.
He wrote on Twitter: “Let me just say this – Lady of Heaven should be banned as it could lead to communal violence.
“Muslims love the Prophet and Sahaba [companions of the Prophet] so much so that provocations like this could lead to criminal reactions from some misguided individuals. »
He said the film could “lead to a reaction even if that reaction itself is wrong”.
Why is Lady of the Sky so controversial?
Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq are among the countries that have condemned the film.
In the UK, protests took place outside cinemas in Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Bolton, Blackburn, Birmingham and east London.
It was to be screened at Cineworld, Vue and Showcase cinemas.
But after the former pulled screenings for safety reasons for staff and customers, only Vue viewings appear to be available to book online.
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