Considered “blasphemous” in Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, Morocco has banned the screening of the British film La Dame du Paradis (The Lady of Heaven) according to an official press release published on Saturday evening. This feature film tells the story of the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, Fatima Zahra, wife of Ali, the first Shia imam, and describes the succession struggle that followed the death of Muhammad. “The Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM) has decided not to grant an authorization to the film The Lady of Paradise by its director Eli King and its author Yasser Al-Habib and to prohibit its commercial or cultural projection on the national territory”, indicates the press release. The CCM is responsible for granting exploitation visas for films, shot in Morocco or abroad, for theatrical distribution, “in compliance with the legislation” and provided that they are “not contrary to constants and the sacraments of the kingdom”. His decision comes after the Superior Council of Ulemas – the official body responsible for issuing fatwas (religious opinions) – “strongly condemned” the content of the film on Saturday. In a statement, the Council of Ulemas, which is chaired by King Mohammed VI, denounces “the flagrant falsification of established facts in the history of Islam”. “This falsification of facts, which harms Islam and Muslims, is rejected by all peoples, because it does not serve their higher interests among nations, especially in these times,” the religious statement said. film is accused by Muslims of representing the prophet of Islam but above all of adopting a pro-Shiite point of view on the events following the death of the Prophet which would be likely to generate “tensions” with the Sunnis. Released on June 3 in the United Kingdom, it was deprogrammed by the Cineworld channel after gatherings of Muslims outside the cinemas where it was broadcast. The Muslim world was recently outraged by the remarks of the spokesperson for the nationalist party in power in India, considered “insulting” to the Prophet Muhammad and which sparked a wave of protests and demonstrations.
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