Why did Morocco ban the film?

The banning of the British film The Lady Of Heaven in Morocco is explained by several reasons, estimated Driss El Ganbouri, researcher and specialist in religious issues. According to him, this film cultivates a discord between Muslims in general. Explanations.

The Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM) decided on Saturday to ban the British film The Lady Of Heaven, directed by Eli King, and of which the Kuwaiti, Yasser El Habib, a Muslim intellectual, is the author.

The CCM explains in its press release that its decision stems from the opinion of the Council of Ulemas. Without going into too many details, the document indicates that the film in question goes against the constants of Morocco.

The film in question, which incorporates a Shiite narration, has chosen to show the image of the Prophet Mohammed and his relatives but without acting. Their faces were created by computer. This is a central question in the rejection of this film since it has been banned in several Muslim countries, such as Iraq, Pakistan but also Iran, countries with strong Shiite communities.

The film, released on June 3, caused shock waves abroad, especially in the United Kingdom where it was shot. Demonstrations were organized against this film deemed blasphemous and in some cities its broadcast was suspended.

For researcher Driss El Ganbouri, this film “is an attack on the Prophet Mohammed and his family and it is the first film that personifies the prophet in images when this is strictly prohibited by scholars”.

He believes that in this sense there is a difference between Islam and Christianity. “Christians are accustomed to personifying Christ in images or in personage, whereas it is not permitted to do so for the prophet”.

In addition, the author “attempts to promote a certain version of Shia Islam which is perceived as very harsh on the Prophet Muhammad and his family in particular Fatima Essahra (the Prophet’s daughter)”, for the expert in religious matters.

This version is known among extremist Shiites, he says. “It consists in accusing the Sahaba of the Prophet (the Companions of Islam) of being a gang which would have tried to gain the upper hand over the Prophet by preventing him from making a will for the benefit of Ali (his son-in-law and son spiritual) so that he can take over after his death”, he explains.

The same version of Shiism indicates that “the Companions would have taken power by force and therefore would be Kouffars (unbelievers), and this is the speech of the director of the film Yasser El Habib since all his declarations to the press are oriented in this direction,” said El Ganbouri.

Morocco’s decision to ban this film in the Kingdom is unprecedented but not surprising. “Given that Morocco has a Commandery of Believers (directed by King Mohammed VI, editor’s note), the country sees that it is its duty to share its opinion on this subject”, explains the specialist in relation to the taking of position of Morocco.

And to add that “there is currently a kind of rise in discord between Sunnis and Shiites by lobbies seeking to confront the two versions of the history of Islam”.

“This film, he concludes, opens the way to this discord between the two currents and I think that Morocco has given its answer in this file”.

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