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Ban film on Prophet with A R Rahman music: Sunni group to govt

Majidi film is first of a three-part biopic. The film by the renowned director is the first of a trilogy on the life of Muhammad, and shows his childhood and adolescence till he becomes a prophet.

Written by Sankhayan Ghosh | Mumbai | Updated: September 7, 2015 2:36 am
movie messenger of god, Prophet Muhammad, A R Rahman, Prophet movie, Prophet Muhammad movie,   muhammad messenger of god, Prophet Muhammad film, Majid Majidi, Iranian director Majid Majidi, muhammad biopic, majid majidi biopic, muhammad majid majidi, a r rahman muhammad biopic, indian muslims, india news The film by the renowned director Majid Majidi is the first of a trilogy on the life of Muhammad, and shows his childhood and adolescence till he becomes a prophet.

A Mumbai-based Sunni Muslim organisation has approached the Union Home Minister and the Iranian Consulate in India seeking a ban on the latest Majid Majidi film Muhammad: Messenger of God, calling it “blasphemous for more than one reason”.

In a memorandum sent to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Raza Academy has also sought “legal action” against composer A R Rahman, who has given music for the film, for “hurting the sentiments of Indian Muslims”.

The film by the renowned director is the first of a trilogy on the life of Muhammad, and shows his childhood and adolescence till he becomes a prophet.

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After its world premiere on August 27 at the Montreal Film Festival, Muhammad: Messenger of God opened in Iran simultaneously in 57 screens but it is yet to release in other parts of the world.

Demanding “action against the filmmakers”, Mohammed Saeed Noori, founder secretary of the Raza Academy, wrote in the memorandum: “Firstly, the name of the prophet shouldn’t be in the film’s title. People use a film’s name loosely, like when someone says bad things about the film, it sounds like an insult to Muhammad himself. Secondly, photography isn’t allowed in Islam. We have a problem with various actors shown playing Muhammad.”

Since visual descriptions of the prophet is prohibited in Islam, Majidi has chosen not to show the face of Muhammad in the film, keeping in mind religious sentiments. The Oscar-winning Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, has worked on various combinations of light and darkness to make this possible. Yet, the film has sparked controversy outside Iran — the Islamic Research Academy, associated with the Al Azhar mosque of Egypt, issued a statement condemning it, and Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti also spoke against the film.

However, Muhammad: Messenger of God has received the support of the Iranian government, which has partly funded the film. Majidi, the 56-year-old director, has made acclaimed films such as Colour of Paradise (1999) and Children of Heaven (1997), which was nominated at the Oscars for the Best Foreign film category.

“The film is being dubbed in many languages and likely to be released all around the world. That will make it worse. Since Iran is an Islamic country, there has not been much furore over this. Irrespective of creed, everyone deserves the same punishment for committing a crime,” said Noori. He also claimed that the Iranian Consulate in Mumbai refused to meet a five-member delegation from the academy, led by him, on Thursday,despite having an appointment.

When contacted, an official at the Consulate denied that the delegation was given an appointment. “Apparently, the Raza Academy members had come for a meeting with us but there was no appointment, and hence, we couldn’t receive them.”

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  1. Z
    Mar 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm
    first being muslims we should know that the most superior creat of ALLAH is MUHAMMAD....so we can not portrate him with any one in any regard nd in any way.......nd islam4fools.....MAY ALLAH give u hadaya........QURAN itself says meaning of which is"some of my readers will get hadayat and some will become the wrong ones reading me""so we r seeing those people who are reading and becoming terrorist......so its not MAZALLAH QURAN fault its peoples fault.....
    1. R
      Sep 7, 2015 at 7:03 am
      Buddha also forbade anybody to build his statues. The difference with Islam is that there is fear of violent death added to Islamic teachings for everything it forbids. Then you call it a religion of peace!
      1. C
        Sep 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm
        We are not interested in this movie in any case. Please let us live in peace and not in pieces!!
        1. Chandrashekhar Deshpande
          Sep 7, 2015 at 7:59 am
          What RAZA acedemi is pressing do not call much weight, the importance should be given to this aspect, what so called moderate Muslims and whose pupils are going in Cristian schools needs to be seen. Unfortunately the section of so called moderate, educated and who use to glorify TV debates, needs to express their views on this matter.But for them, at this juncture, the so called Freedom Of Speech becomes a game for dumbs. In the Muslim World, much more importance is being given to Aurangazeb and not to Akabar.
          1. P
            Sep 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm
            the main ques is whether the govt will allow it to be released in india.
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