Radical Islamists in Pakistan have forced the Imran Khan led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to ban the movie The Lady of Heaven in the country. The Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony of Pakistan, Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, told a visiting Iranian official that the making of such a film is an action against unity. Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, is expected to convey the objections against the movie to the British government through diplomatic channels. Pakistan has also called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a forum to implement measures against production and screening of anti-Islamic films. The Pakistani government has termed the movie sacrilegious.
The Lady of the Heaven – The Untold Story is the story of Lady Fatima, the youngest daughter of Prophet Muhammad. The $15 Million dollar movie centers on the crimes of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and weaves historical events related to Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (A.S) around it. Sarah Trevis, Ray Fearon, Mark Anthony Brighton, Denise Black and Oscar Garland are among the main actors in the film. The movie is produced by Yasser Al-Habibi, a Kuwaiti Twelver Shia Muslim cleric and directed by Eli King. The holy personalities in the movie have not been played by any individuals. The movie makers have achieved the visuals of holy personalities by ‘unique synthesis of actors, in-camera effects, lighting and visual effects’.
Pakistani Shiite clerics and religious leaders have condemned the film and called it controversial, sectarian and blasphemous. In a joint statement, the radicals have condemned the joint conspiracy of arrogant powers, which includes the Zionist regime and puppet Britain. The statement also expressed hatred against the anti-sectarian movement of ‘mercenaries of the enemies of Islam’, especially by an individual. They have called upon all religious sects of Islam and followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (AS) to condemn the film.
Cleric Yasser Al-Habib, a Rafidi or Rejecter of Sunni beliefs, is at odds with a large section of radical Islamists for his view that the Prophet Muhammad was assassinated by his wives, Aisha and Hafsa, and companions, Abu Bakr and Omar. It is commonly believed that Prophet Muhammad had fallen ill and died. In 2003, Al Habib was sentenced to 35 years in prison in Kuwait for insulting the Prophet Muhammad’s wives and companions. They are revered by the followers of Sunni Islam. His imprisonment was cut short in 2004 and he fled to London. As per Al-Habib, fundamentalist Islamic groups have misinterpreted the Islamic Sharia Law.
Since its release on 23 December 2020, the trailer of the movie has attracted close to 2 million views. The release date of the movie is not yet announced.