Sheffield Cineworld Unlimited member says ‘Lady of Heaven’ cancellation ‘discriminatory’ against non-Muslims

A Sheffield woman has demanded that the controversial film 'The Lady of Heaven' be reinstated at Cineworld.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:45 pm

She called the decision to cancel screenings 'extremely discriminatory' against the non-Muslim community.

Louise Shaw, 45, who has been a Cineworld Unlimited member for the past four years, said she can no longer 'get the full use' of her membership following the removal.

The film was pulled from all Cineworld theatres following protests in a number of towns and cities.

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Cineworld branch in Sheffield

The demonstrations included one in Sheffield, after which a video emerged of the venue’s manager telling the crowd it would be cancelling all screenings.

Ms Shaw, a mum-of-two from Shiregreen, said: "As a Cineworld Unlimited member for the past four years, I find their actions extremely discriminatory against the non-Muslim community.

"Despite several emails of complaint I have not yet received a satisfactory response from them as to how they are going to put this discrimination right.

"Why did they not just call the police when the protest started? Instead, they have cancelled the film.

"As a result of this I cannot now get the full use of my Unlimited membership and they have given me no indication of how they are going to put this right. The film needs to be reinstated.

"They have cited the reason for cancelling the film as safety issues however I believe the real reason is so as not to upset the Muslim community and receive bad publicity."

Louise said she has also tried to reach out to Cineworld on Twitter and directed her complaint there, but she has not received any response.

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The Lady of Heaven, directed by Eli King, is an interpretation of the story of Lady Fatima, Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, and is intertwined with that of a young Iraqi orphan in the modern day.

However, it has led to protests by members of the Muslim community in Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford and other places, who say the film ‘disrespects’ the prophet by putting his ‘face’ on screen, while others disagree with the interpretation of history and the depiction of a murder by Islamic State militants in the opening of the film.

Although it is being screened nationwide following its release on June 3, Cineworld announced on June 7 that it would cancel all showings of the film following the protests.

In the video filmed outside Sheffield’s Cineworld earlier this month, the manager tells the crowd: “I am the manager of this cinema and I am just confirming that this film is cancelled tonight and for the rest of this week. We will not be showing the film.

"We value you all as our customers. We’re in the heart of this community as a local effort. It wasn’t our decision to show this film, it came from above. We totally agree with what you’re saying and we are not prepared to show this film at this cinema.”

The executive producer of the film, Malik Shlibak, also revealed he has received death threats, with activists telling him 'I'm going to kill you' on Twitter.

Cineworld, when contacted, said it would respond to the complaint directly with the customer.