'Secularism in India means being more Islamic': Twitterati question Maha govt's move to ban film on Prophet Muhammad

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh requested the Centre to stop the release of the film, ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’.

The movie is scheduled to release on July 21 on a digital platform.

Earlier, Raza Academy wrote to Deshmukh stating that the movie is completely "blasphemous".

The Academy stated that ever since the advertisement was published there has been uproar in the community and claimed they received hundreds of calls to get the film banned.

Muhammad: The Messenger of God is a 2015 Iranian Islamic epic film directed by Majid Majidi and co-written with Kambuzia Partovi. The film is set in the sixth century where the story revolves around the childhood of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

As the news broke on Twitter, many condemned the State government’s prompt move to ban a film based on a complaint.

One user wrote, "No actions on Hinduphobic content in movies, series, and stand-up comics. But will stop this movie. Waaah secularism. Just one complaint of Raza Academy stops the movie, but thousands of complaint against stand-up comics in vain."

"The movie is made by a Muslim filmmaker and it ran without any problem in Iran, an Islamic country. But obviously, secularism in India means being more Islamic than any other country," added another.

Here are some more reactions.

Raza Academy is an organisation of Indian Sufi Muslims that promotes Islamic beliefs through publications and research. Established in 1978, it runs from a small office at Mumbai’s Mohammed Ali Road.

It garnered attention in 2012, for holding a protest against the riots in Assam and attacks on Muslims in Myanmar at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. It ended in violence, killing two. The secretary, Mohammed Saeed Noori however disowned those involved in the violence as “miscreants”, who were not associated with the academy.

In 2015, Raza Academy also issued a fatwa against acclaimed music composer A. R. Rahman and Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi for making a film on Muhammad.

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