Below is a statement issued by the Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission (AIM) about the recent film ‘Lady of Heaven’ which is fuelling tensions in the Muslim community:
It is evident that the UK authorities have given permission to air in cinemas a controversial film attempting to document the early history of Islam.
This film, which has been produced by individuals notorious for fuelling discord amongst Muslims, sets out to damage relations and social cohesion between the various Muslim denominations under the false pretext of “free speech”.
It is clear that rather than respectfully and academically educating the public on the Shia Muslim narrative of early Islamic history, this film was created to provocatively ridicule and bring offence to Sunni Muslims, who revere certain personalities from the early era of Islam, with whom Shia Muslims differ with.
Further to the joint statement of senior Shia Muslim scholars in the UK issued in January 2021, the Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission wishes to make clear that this film does not represent the sentiments nor the motivations of the Shia Muslim community in the UK. Rather, it is being peddled by a notorious fringe group, discredited by the leading Marajiʾ [religious authorities] of the Shia Muslim world, who also malign and ridicule respected Shia scholars and personalities as well.
We believe this film lacks much academic value and is purposely intended to harm the social fabrics that unite Shia and Sunni Muslims.
We hold the UK authorities in contempt for sowing the seeds of sectarianism amongst Muslims and hold them responsible for any blowback thereafter.
We, as a Shia Muslim organisation, urge our Muslim communities of all denominations to be mindful of the plot to divide Muslims and to make efforts to strengthen ties of unity and brotherhood in the midst of this malice action.
Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission (AIM)
5th June 2022