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'I don't think it's ever right to give in to anything that undermines free speech': Concerns over cinema chain's removal of film deemed 'blasphemous' by Muslims

by Alex Collett
Cineworld-signage_article_image.jpg - Banner image

Cineworld has pulled a film about the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad after hundreds of protestors gathered outside venues, calling the film blasphemous.

Demonstrators turned out in Bradford, Bolton, Birmingham and Sheffield to protest venues showing screenings of The Lady of Heaven.

The film opens with the invasion of Iraq by ISIS and features a graphic jihadist murder, before telling the story of Lady Fatima, one of the daughters of the founder of Islam.

Defending its decision, a spokesperson for Cineworld said: "Due to recent incidents related to screenings of 'The Lady of Heaven', we have made the decision to cancel upcoming screenings of the film nationwide to ensure the safety of our staff and customers."

The movie's executive producer, Malik Shlibak, called the decision to pull the move "unacceptable" and accused the chain of 'bowing down to radical extremists'.

McRoy also thinks it was wrong for Cineworld to pull the film from their screens, he said: "I don't think it's ever right to give in to anything that undermines free speech. 

"I think the only caveat to free speech is if you incite to violence either directly or indirectly. 

"If you don't want to watch something, then don't watch it, that's your freedom and no one can compel you to watch this film.

"It would be a different matter if the film was inciting violence but it is not, they are getting upset, but there is nothing that says in British Law that this film shouldn't be allowed to be screened in the UK."

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