Days after Raza Academy demanded a ban on Iranian movie ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’, Maharashtra home ministry has written to the central government with the same request.
I a letter to Union Electronics and Information Technology minister, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh has said that the state government has received a complaint against the movie from Raza Academy. “The complainant has made serious allegations that the said movie will severely hurt the sentiments and will be considered blasphemous by a particular community. The movie can potentially disturb the religious sentiments of citizens in the country and may cause religious tensions creating law and order problems in the country,” the letter states.
Maharashtra Home Dept writes to Central govt with a request to stop screening of the film “Muhammad: The Messenger of God” which is scheduled to be released on digital platform on July 21. The request has been made after receiving a complaint from Raza Academy,a Mumbai based org. pic.twitter.com/O6nRKjYwYo— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2020
The home minister states in his letter, “We hereby request you to block / suspend those digital platforms where the movie would be released on the probable date of 21″ of July 2020, under section 69A and the blocking rides of the Information Technology Act, 2000 & Information Technology Act (Amendment). 2008.” Anil Deshmukh also requested the union minister to issue instructions / Directions to all Digital Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat etc to ban the release of the movie.
He added that Maharashtra Cyber department, the nodal agency for the state of Maharashtra for cyber matters, has also requested The Senior Director (Scientist – G) Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, to prevent the release of the said movie on OTT platforms.
The Maharashtra home minister also included the YouTube link for the movie’s trailer, terming it as ‘objectionable’. it may be noted that the movie is being released online on an streaming platform, and that’s why the Maharashtra govt has asked the union govt to ban it, as only the central govt can ban content on the Internet. If the movie was released in theaters, the state govt could have banned it themselves in their state.
The 2015 movie ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’ by Majid Majidi is based on the life of the Muslim prophet. The movie was released in Iran in 2015 and was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards. Raza Academy has said that the movie the film portrays the Holy Prophet as a child and even the Mother and Father of the Holy Prophet have been shown in person. The Holy Prophet of Islam can never be picturised and those who have done it have committed blasphemy which is intolerable at any cost.
“A Muslim will die in honour than to see or hear even the slightest insult on his Holy Prophet,” the Raza Academy had said threateningly in their statement. The Raza Academy had issued a fatwa against AR Rahman, the music composer of the movie, and Iranian director Majid Majidi in 2015 as well.