Health Secretary Sajid Javid has raised concerns about cancel culture in the UK after screenings of a film about the Prophet Muhammed’s daughter were pulled from cinemas.
On Tuesday (June 7), Cineworld pulled all of its screenings of The Lady of Heaven to “ensure the safety” of their customers and staff.
This decision came after hundreds of protestors took to cinemas in Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford and Sheffield, all of which were showing the film over the weekend.
In response to the screenings being pulled, Javid told TalkTV: “I am very concerned about the growing cancel culture in this country. There’s people out there who think they have a right not to be offended and of course, no one has that right.
“You might not like what someone’s got to say, but they have a right to say it.”
Javid went on to say that there are no laws against Blasphemy in the UK, and warned that would be “an incredibly dangerous road to go down”.
He added: “What we have in this country is freedom of speech and expression, and that is a fundamental value.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid is "very concerned" after Muslim protesters forced Cineworld to drop a "blasphemous" film.
"We don't have blasphemy laws. That would be a dangerous road to go down."
— TalkTV (@TalkTV) June 8, 2022
At the time of writing, more 120,000 people have signed a petition for the film to be pulled from UK cinemas, with various Muslim organisations describing it as “blasphemous” and “divisive”.
Directed by Eli King and written by Sheikh al-Habib, ‘The Lady of Heaven’ claims to tell the story of Lady Fatima, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad. The film has received heavy criticism from some groups for its depiction of the prophet.
Earlier this week, executive producer Malik Shlibak revealed that he had received death threats in response to the film.
“I don’t worry about it – it’s just empty threats. But I have had threats on Twitter now, being called an ‘infidel’ and with people saying, ‘I’m going to kill you’ and all this sort of thing,” he said.
“For the film, this has been brilliant. I’ve been absolutely bombarded by every media outlet you can imagine. So, the film is reaching a huge, huge audience – more than it ever could.”
Cineworld’s rival chain Vue has continued to screen the film at a number of their London and south-east cinemas.