Worrying Film Censorship

As everyone who reads my blog knows, I am not a religious person. However, I believe that everyone should have a right to their own beliefs, unless those beliefs interfere with others, or cause harm to people. I know that many religious people get comfort from their faith, whatever that faith might be.

As a result, I rarely comment on religion on this blog.

But today, I feel the need to talk about something that does concern me.

On release in cinemas around the UK is a British film, ‘Lady In Heaven’. This is an historical epic written by a Shia Muslim cleric, Sheikh Yasser al-Habib of Kuwait, and it concerns the story of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.

As a film fan, I confess that it is not a film that interests me that much. However, I suspected that in modern multi-cultural Britain, it could find a large audience. It was actually taken up for distribution by Cineworld, one of the largest multiplex cinema chains in this country.

So far, just a normal film release.

Then a cinema in Yorkshire was surrounded by an angry mob of local British Muslims who objected to the film being shown. The staff were threatened, and the producer of the film received death threats. Despite the presence of police officers, no arrests were made, and the banner-waving and chanting mob was allowed to continue to make their protest outside the location.

That’s the right of free speech in a democracy.

Then Cineworld decided not to show the film, in any of its cinemas in Yorkshire. Perhaps not in any of their cinemas nationwide. They issued a press release saying that they were concerned for the safety of the staff, disruption of performances, and damage to buildings. Varous people involved in making the film continue to receive death threats, and still no arrests have been made.

One of the main reasons why people who were not born in Britain were eager to come and live here is because we have a tradition of religious tolerance. But then some of them seek to undermind our tolerant society by telling others what they can and cannot watch at the cinema. And they are allowed to do this, by our own laws.

To my mind, such behaviour will only increase racial and relgious hatred. It will give ammunition to the Far Right and Neo-Nazi groups in the UK, and perhaps generate ‘revenge’ attacks against Muslim communities in this country.

Such protests causing a film not to be shown to those who want to pay to see it are not acceptable to me. They are the beginnings of a slippery slope of censorship based on political correctness and mob rule that has no place in a modern society.

With that in mind, here is the trailer for the film that they do not want you to see.

Feel free to issue me with a death threat.

46 thoughts on “Worrying Film Censorship

  1. I fully agree with your opinion, Pete! Sometimes i think its just the objective of some politicans to heaten up the community by using such censorship. Sometimes we have to stay strong against anything shorten our right for Freedom of Speech, Art und Thinking! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with all the above, but the biggest alarm bells for me is the pacifist approach by the police who are too scared to arrest and punish in case they raise religious tensions. I’ve just read a book set in modern-day London in which the police back off from Muslim aggressors but admit had it been local boys rioting they would all have been locked up. I agree with Terry, only more than halfway down the slope. It’s heartbreaking to see a once-proud nation’s culture being destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are spot on Pete, if you disagree with it or are offended by it, then don’t watch it. More should be done to find those issuing death threats and instigating violence, that is the real crime here.
    It did make me think about the ban on The Life of Brian in certain countries, and wasn’t there some controversy about the Exorcist? Its clearly not a new thing, but the methods of intimidation have escalated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There have been protests about some films before, notably Mary Whitehouse and her supporters campaigning against ‘pornographic’ films years ago. But I cannot recall death threats, and cinemas having to stop showing films or close their doors.
      Cheers, Eddy.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Couldn’t agree more Pete! We can’t give in to this kind of cancel culture. It also annoys me that we are under pressure to not criticise religions any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i’m for peaceful protests, i am not for threats or intimidation, and i am also for freedom of expression. people can choose to be in the audience or not, for any creative pursuit, that is their choice, free to choose. free to express.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In the trailer and so probably in the film as well. I hate films with whooshes, be it about Muslims or anything else. I won’t watch films with whooshes – I find whooshes terribly irritating. I like calm films with intelligent dialogue and not much (better if none at all) sex or violence. Hence I don’t watch many films…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s fine for people to demonstrate peacefully and make their views known. The rest is thuggery. Isn’t it policy not to negotiate with terrorists? That’s what those people are. How dare they seek refuge and a better life in another country and then try to impose their ways on the people who allowed them in. It crazes me and yes, a very slippery slope indeed. Needs to be nipped severely in the bud. It’s unacceptable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. That they can get a film pulled from a cinema chain is of great concern to me. What next? Books? TV shows? How long before everyone has to run something past a committee of them?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read that the movie stokes Sunni and Shia tensions.
    Wikipedia:
    Shia media outlet The Muslim Vibe surmised the film: “Quite simply, this film’s priority is to offend Sunni Muslims more than it is to depict a Shia Muslim understanding of this contentious period of Islamic history”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s as may be, David. But threatening cinema staff is not acceptable to me. I am sure many films about Jesus have offended Christians, but I cannot recall any being removed from cinemas. Thanks for the extra information.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I note that in the beginning of this trailer there is a brief representation of the face and figure of The Prophet. In Islam, it is forbidden to do any kind of representation of the face of The Prophet. That issue is a firestorm amongst Islamists and has cost many lives over the years. I am thinking that if the film company were to remove the visual representations of the Prophet from the film, a lot of the furor would die down or disappear entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that, John. Considering the film was written by a noted Muslim cleric, I would have thought that might have been taken into consideration. But I still do not agree with other people not being able to go about their daily lives because of intimidation by religious mobs.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You beat me to it with your post, and you’ve said it so incredibly well, Pete. I couldn’t agree more.

    Alongside this news was yet another NHS Trust removing the “Woman” from “Women’s Services” … I’ll say here and now, I AM A WOMAN. A REAL BIOLOGICAL FEMALE. What a shocker! (Eye roll). If they limit services to “people who menstruate” or “have ovaries”, they’re actually excluding many of the female population.

    Anyhoo … rant over!

    Excellent post. Thanks for sharing and speaking up 💕🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks, Harmony. (No idea why this comment was in Trash.)
      The Transgender debate is another one I have long avoided. I think it should be up to women how they feel personally about this issue, and not a question of legislation or overblown political correctness.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dare I say it: the apprehensive, and frequently over-cautious way in which radical expressions of religion is treated in this country, is asking for trouble. If certain religious groups know they can hold our values of freedom of expression to ransom, they surely will do, but religion, particularly of the Christian persuasion, has long ceased to be a dominating force in Britain, and rightly so IMHO, so this sort of bullying thuggery must not be tolerated. I’m not advocating heavy-handed action, but some plain & hard talking needs to be done; unfortunately, at the moment, expecting this shambles of a government to do anything constructive is probably doomed to failure. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jon. Intimidating staff and issuing death threats goes far beyond anything that should be tolerated, and both are crimes uder UK law. The police are hamstrung by political correctness, and should be arresting any individuals involved.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Interestingly enough, on the basis of the trailer, it seems that the film celebrates an intolerance of the sort of ignorant intolerance that is demonstrated by the modern protesters. I am always amused by irony but have no patience with radically enforced cultural censorship. (Though if someone were successful in hindering the release of any further comic book movies for the foreseeable future my ideological posture might experience a seismic shift.)
    – Eric Arthur Blair

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Intimidation like this is not acceptable, Jack. Death threats are a crime, and those making them should be arrested.
      ‘The offence of making a threat to kill is an either way offence, meaning it can be dealt with either in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. The offence is so serious that most people found guilty would be at risk of a prison sentence.’
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

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