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Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman and Iranian director Majid Majidi have been issued a fatwa by a Muslim group who have objected to their film Muhammad: Messenger of God.
The Iranian film is the first of a planned trilogy on the life of Prophet Muhammad. According to reports, Mumbai-based Raza Academy objected to the film, stating, “It is nothing short of a crime to make a film on the Prophet, dramatizing his life and using non-Muslim actors… Making such a film is making a mockery of religion.”
The group is also demanding a ban on the film in India. A fatwa is a Muslim legal opinion issued by a qualified religious authority.
Rahman, 48, is one of India’s most successful composers, whose multiple awards include an Oscar and Grammy for his work on Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire. He worked again with Boyle on the 2010 release 127 Hours. Rahman officially converted to Islam in 1989, replacing his Hindu birth name Dileep Kumar.
As one of Iran’s most celebrated directors, Majidi’s 1998 film Children of Heaven was the first Iranian film to receive an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. In 2013, the director announced plans to shoot his next title Floating Gardens in India, stating, “I have always wanted to shoot in India, as I have always felt that both Iran and India have the same cultural sensibilities.”
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