Telecommunication watchdog says it has forwarded to social media platforms 336 URLs containing trailers for the movie to ensure it is blocked from access
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Sunday announced that it had approached major social media platforms to remove all instances of “sacrilegious” movie The Lady of Heaven from visibility in Pakistan.
Produced in Britain, The Lady of the Heaven has drawn controversy over its depiction of the life of Hazrat Fatima, the youngest daughter of Islam’s Prophet. “Two stories separated by 1,400 years. After losing his mother in the midst of a war-torn country, an Iraqi child learns the importance and power of patience by discovering the historical story of Hazrat Fatima,” reads the summary of the movie provided by the producers. The movie, currently in post-production, does not yet have a release date.
In its statement, the PTA said that it had taken the decision to block access to trailers of the film over reports about its “sacrilegious” content. “PTA has directed social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter etc for immediate blocking of all content related to the said movie from their platforms,” read the statement. “So far 336 URLs containing promo of the said movie have been reported to different platforms,” it added.
The government is also seeking a ban on any display or broadcast of the movie in Pakistan since the Ministry of Religious Affairs received complaints from a senior cleric that “viewing and spreading such content should be avoided, as it creates divisions among Muslims.” In a letter sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan by Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, it was alleged that the movie was a “deliberate effort by the enemies of Islam” to sow unrest among Muslims and provoke sectarian conflict between Shias and Sunnis.
“In order to curb the sectarian conflict among Shias and Sunnis, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi of Iran has issued a decree that strictly condemns all concerned with the production, release and propagation of the said movie,” the letter said, adding that the issue should be taken up with the British government.