Terming the newly released Iranian film Muhammad: The Messenger of God’s content as sacrilegious, a Sunni organisation based in India, Raza Academy, Monday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ban the movie in India and take “legal action” against the movie’s music composer A R Rahman.
In a strong-worded letter, Raza Academy’s joint secretary Mohammad Arif Rizvi said that the movie hurts the “sentiments of Indian Muslims” by showing a person playing the Prophet. According to the organisation, showing pictures or portrayal of the Prophet is blasphemous under Islamic traditions.
The movie Muhammad: the Messenger of God, directed by famous Iranian director Majid Majidi, was released on August 27 in Iran. The cast consists of several Iranian actors and the entire movie has been shot in Qum, Iran, and South Africa.
Oscar-nominated Majidi, who is a scriptwriter and a producer as well, is known for his popular feature film The Song of the Sparrows and several short documentaries. In the latest film, Majidi shows the early life of Prophet Muhammad and his childhood by casting an Iranian actor. Several of the Prophet’s companions, called Sahaba, have been played by Iranian actors.
Several Sunni scholars in Iran and Egypt have asked for a ban on the film after it hit the box office two days ago. Saeed Noorie, general secretary of Raza Academy who has seen the film on a social website, said, “While the film does not portray the Prophet in a bad light, depiction of the Prophet in any form is not permitted. In the film, the character is not shown fully but even a shadowy portrayal is wrong.”