Efforts to ban “Women in Heaven” films in British cinema have roots in the Iranian regime: Report

A campaign against movies that saw some members of the Islamic community protesting cinemas across the UK began 18 months ago in Iran, according to a conservative think tank survey.

A new research note by Dr. Paul Stott of the Think Tank Policy Exchange Security and Radicalism Teampdf) Wrote that it was Iran that launched the campaign against “Women in Heaven” 18 months ago, starting with negative statements by the highest government officials.

In addition, it was found that another key government adviser on anti-radicalism expressed support for recent protests.

Muslim men have been protesting the $ 15 million movie written by Islamic Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib outside the cinemas of Bradford, Bolton, Birmingham and Shefield since June. The producer described the film as a story about the “painful journey” of Mrs. Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.

Iran: “Blaming this movie”

Stott was accused by General Ali Shamharney, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as a “woman in heaven” as a “strategy to create discord between the Islamic world” in the west. , Israel, the axis of Arabic, “extended to” establishing ISIL and making women in heaven. “

In February 2020, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Beijing Jad Post On Twitter, the Islamic community claims that “we must act together to blame the film and resort to legal action to ban it in the UK.”

moreover, Iran’s International Quran News Agency The London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) Prompted A Muslim who boycotts a “woman in heaven” who has attempted to “sow discord among Muslims.”

Al-Habib is a British-based Shiite priest, and the portrayals of some characters offend some Sunni Muslims. Sunnis make up the majority of Muslims around the world.

The IHRC called Alhabib a “famous hate” and blamed the “motivation of the Cineworld Group.”

“Given the strength of the emotions towards it in the Islamic community, the criminal record of the writer, and the harmful intent of the film, the company should never have agreed to show it,” he wrote.

One of the IHRC 4 directors, Saeed Reza AmelieIs a Tehran-based secretary of the Cultural Revolution Supreme Council, one of Iran’s leading policy-making bodies. goal Ensuring “a full-scale cultural attack of the enemy against Islamic values”.

Anti-radical imam: “blasphemy”

Stott did more than just mention the effects of Iran in his research notes. He also emphasized a man paid to do anti-radical work by the British government celebrating the closure of the movie screening by protesters standing outside the theater.

In June, senior executive Imam Kali Asim was dismissed from the government as an independent adviser to the British government on Islamophobia for urging Muslims to protest a movie condemning “blasphemy.”

He was told by MP Michael Gove on the front bench that his actions were “incompatible with the role of government adviser in anti-Islamic hatred.” The country is proud of its democratic values ​​and freedoms, including tolerance, freedom of speech and community. “

Policy Exchange points out that Imam Irfan Chishti of the United Kingdom, a government-paid Islamic priest who provides training on anti-radism and racism through his company MeandYou, posted the following comment on Imam Qari Asim’s “The Lady of Heaven”: did. Facebook post: “Stopped in some areas I heard today. Blackburn and Sheffield. Alhamdulillah.”

Last year, Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered an investigation into Chisti after he went. Accusation Against Israel to an angry crowd.

After the investigation, Chisti return For the government’s anti-radical program.

“Do we support freedom of speech?”

Catherine Perez Shakdam, a journalist, political analyst, Islamic affairs expert, and researcher at the Henry Jackson Society, she was at the forefront of internal activities in the Islamic Republic. interview In 2017, Ibrahim Raishi, a then presidential candidate and hardline priest.

She told the Epoch Times that the Islamic republic “has become very smart with propaganda machines” by installing an “echo chamber.”

“They do it with the media and have an overall shadow lobby group working in various areas such as academia, humanitarianism, charity, aid, and the media to drive a particular agenda. “She said.

However, Perez Shakdam said that despite the protests, “Women in Heaven” were actually religiously depicted in Shiite Twelver Shi’ist literature.

“In fact, the movie is literally a video version of what is taught in Hosas. [a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated] It is interesting that Shiite scholars and clergy suddenly joined in and criticized the entire Islamic republic, “says Perez Shakdam.

She said in her mind that it had more to do with the politics of the “world of religion”.

“Iran wants the West to succumb to Shariah law, which is essentially anti-Western, anti-democratic, and colonial power,” she said.

“Do we insist on freedom of speech as the basis of democracy, or do we govern freedom of speech to respond to the feelings of others? I don’t think we should. Freedom of speech is the protection of all of us, and when you start building accommodation for people who act violently, it’s not an argument, “she added.

The Epoch Times asked Imam Irfan Bachdim for comment.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist who covers stories from a wide range of countries with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.

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