The Iranian consulate in Mumbai on Thursday refused to accept a memorandum by an Indian NGO seeking a ban on the controversial movie Muhammad: The Messenger of God and booking the filmmakers. According to the NGO Raza Academy's general secretary Mohammed Saeed Noori, the Iran consulate officials cited certain procedural issues and decline to meet a five-member delegation which wanted to submit a memorandum.
Besides Noori, the delegation comprised Syed Abdul Nabi, Salahuddin Mujahid, Nazim and Aiman, which went to the Iranian consulate in Mumbai on Thursday. In the memorandum, the Raza Academy has demanded that the Iran government ban what it termed as 'blasphemous movie' for which Indian Oscar laureate AR Rahman has given the music.
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"The team had been invited to the consulate to submit the memorandum through a telephonic conversation with a lady official at the consulate, named Ms Farnaz. However, upon reaching there, a Mr Firoz said a meeting with any official was not possible and the same should be sought via an email. Raza Academy has sent off the memorandum through email and by post," Noori said.The memorandum said that the film by well-known Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, released on August 27, is critical of Prophet Muhammad. Based on the early life of the Prophet, the cast includes top Iranian actors, was shot in the city of Qom and in South Africa, the memorandum added.
Prominent newspapers in the Gulf have quoted Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh that the movie is not permitted from a religious point of view, the Raza Academy memo added.
Similarly, it said Egypt's Al Azhar seminary has called for a ban on the movie terming it as "debasing the sanctity of God's messengers".