Cineworld has cancelled its UK screenings of 'The Lady of Heaven' film after protests about its depiction of the daughter of Mohammed. 

The cinema chain said it made the decision "to ensure the safety of our staff and customers".

More than 120,000 people have signed a petition for The Lady of Heaven film to be pulled from UK cinemas.

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The film had an explosive theatrical run in the USA, Canada, and Ireland and trumped world records with the most online film reaction videos. 

It was due to come to UK cinemas on Friday, June 3.

The Muslim Council of Britain, the UK's largest Muslim umbrella organisation, has described the film as "divisive".

In a statement on Sunday, the organisation said it "supports those scholars and leaders who are advocating for greater unity and for the common good".

"There are some - including many of this film's supporters or those engaging in sectarianism in their response - whose primary goal is to fuel hatred," the statement added.

But House of Lords peer Baroness Claire Fox called the decision "disastrous for the arts [and] dangerous for free speech", while Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was "very concerned about the growing cancel culture" in the UK.

Oscar Winner John Stephenson acted as Creative Consultant for the $15 million historical drama which shows the life of Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad.

The film's executive producer, Malik Shlibak, said he welcomed people expressing their views but said cinemas should "stand up and defend their right to show films that people want to see".

"I think cinemas are crumbling to the pressure, and taking these decisions to quell the noise," he told the Guardian.

The Lady of Heaven weaves two stories separated by 1400 years.

The modern-day tale follows a young Iraqi child, Laith (Gabriel Cartade), who is adopted by Bibi (Denise Black) after losing his mother to war. Through Bibi’s storytelling, Laith learns of the struggles of Lady Fatima and gradually manages to cope with the challenges of his modern-day world. 

Filmmakers said: "There are 250 films on Jesus Christ, 120 films about Moses, 80 about the other Prophets, and 40 films about Buddha, but there are none about the life of Lady Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad, who is held dear in the hearts of billions worldwide”.

Screenings of the film were still scheduled for Wednesday at a number of Vue cinemas in London and south-east England.

A spokesperson for Cineworld said: "Due to recent incidents related to screenings of The Lady of Heaven, we have made the decision to cancel upcoming screenings of the film nationwide to ensure the safety of our staff and customers."

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This story was written by Shosha Adie

She joined the team in 2022 as a digital reporter.   

To get in touch with her email:

Follow her on Twitter: @ShoshaAdie

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