The Raza Academy has issued a statement demanding a ban on the 2015 movie ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’ by Majid Majidi. The movie 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 Lasnguage Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.
The Raza Academy said in the letter addressed to Don Cinema, a distributor, that it has to its knowledge that the movie is set for a release digitally on the 21st of July. “Ever since the news of its release has been published there has been an uproar in the community and we have been receiving hundreds of calls to get the film banned as it is completely blasphemous,” said the radical Islamic organisation.
The Raza Academy stated further, “We fail to understand why time and again the Muslim community is targeted by different ways to instigate it and create problems within the country. The films 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 untolerable 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 said threateningly. It is pertinent to note that the movie was made by Majid to change the negative perception of Islam around the world and show people that Islam is a religion of peace, kindness and love. “We earnestly request you to kindly stop the distribution of the film and its subsequent release before it creates unrest and law and order problems in the city,” it added.
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. The organisation had urged Muslims to avoid watching the movie then as well, calling it a mockery of Islam. Then as well, the organisation had demanded a ban on the movie. The movie depicts the life of the government from birth till the age of 13.
Violent Past of the Raza Academy
The Raza Academy has a violent past. In August 2011, its leaders had organised a so-called protest in Azad Maidan that had devolved into violent riots. The rioters from Raza Academy had vandalised the much-hallowed Amar Jawan memorial situated outside the CST. The riots had caused approximately Rs 2.72 crores worth of damages to various public properties.
The protest was carried out to incite communal violence in Mumbai and the IB report to Maharashtra government hinted at Pakistani involvement in the riots. Bangladeshi passports were retrieved from the areas where riots took place. About 65 people and 40 security personnel were injured in the riots.
FIR against Arnab Goswami
The same Raza Academy has also filed FIR against Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, accusing him of spreading ‘communal hatred’ while he was reporting the Palghar mob lynching of two sadhus. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has represented the Raza Academy in Supreme Court when Arnab Goswami had approached the apex court seeking the quashing of FIRs against him.