The cinema chain Cineworld, along with VUE and Showcase, began showing the film The Lady Of Heaven on the 3rd June 2022 in the UK. It tells the “story of the harrowing life of Lady Fatima” – the daughter of Muhammad.
“You have no right to tell us our history. We will not let this film go on further”Protester outside of the Cineworld in Bradford
The film weaves two stories separated by 1,400 years together. The modern-day tale centres on a young Iraqi child called Laith (Gabriel Cartade), who is adopted by Bibi (Denise Black) after losing his mother to war. Through Bibi’s storytelling, Laith learns about the struggles of Lady Fatima and gradually begins to cope with the challenges of his modern world.’
Personally, we have never heard of this Fatima, but it seems that she is an important figure to billions of Muslims worldwide. The movie depicts the early historical origins of murderous Islamic groups such as ISIS – which the film-makers claim lies in the story of Lady Fatima.
Predictably, Muslim groups in this country are up-in-arms once again about a film which portrays Muhammad and his companions “in a bad manner.” Protests have also been planned in towns and cities including Bradford, Leeds and Manchester, which have dared to screen the film. It has also been accused of being a deeply racist film with all the main negative characters being portrayed by black actors.
Fact: There are 250 films on Jesus Christ, 120 films about Moses, 80 about the other Prophets, and 40 films about Buddha. Many of them do not show their subjects in a good light (remember Life Of Brian?). How many other religious groups have protested about the depiction of their beliefs in a negative way? Once again, the intolerance of its followers is in stark contrast to the Western notion of free speech and secularism.
The Lady of Heaven has also been banned in shia majority nation Iran, where it was believed it may cause ‘divisions among Muslims’. Other countries such as Pakistan, which called it ‘sacrilegious’ and Egypt have also followed suit in banning the movie.
At the time of writing both Sheffield, Bolton and Bradford Cineworld have pulled the film after protests. No doubt many more will follow suit.
“We demand the cinemas to remove this film from their screens and understand that airing it will cause protests throughout the country and will not be accepted by Muslims.” 5 pillars UK website.
The video below appeared on Twitter and reportedly shows the manager of a cinema in Sheffield capitulating to the demands of a threatening mob protesting at the screening of a “blasphemous” film. He confirms the film will not be screened anymore.
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