A cinema chain in the United Kingdom has canceled screenings of a film about the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad after Muslim protesters picketed branches.
A Cineworld spokesperson said in a statement that the cinema chain decided to cancel upcoming screenings of “The Lady in Heaven” nationwide “to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.”
The film follows Fatima, Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, and alleged events in her life.
The cancelation comes after 200 Muslims gathered to protest the screening of the “the sectarian hate film” outside Cineworld in Broad Street, Birmingham on June 5, according to Muslim news site 5 Pillars said on Twitter.
About 100 protesters also gathered at a screening in Bolton.
Bolton Council of Mosques Chairperson Asif Patel said in an email that the film “has caused much distress to Muslims across the globe.”
“It is underpinned with a sectarian ideology and is blasphemous in nature to the Muslim community,” Patel added.
More than 120,000 people have signed an online petition to try to get the film removed.
Vue cinema chain still had screenings of the film listed for London and the southeast on June 7.
“Vue takes seriously the responsibilities that come with providing a platform for a wide variety of content and believes in showcasing films of interest to diverse communities across the UK,” a Vue spokesperson said in a statement.
The Vue spokesperson added that the decisions on how long a film remains on show “are taken on a site-by-site basis and based on a variety of commercial and operational factors.”
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