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Angry Sikhs force movie cancellation

Angry Sikhs force movie cancellation

The Odeon and Cineworld cinema chains in the UK have cancelled screenings of an Indian movie, Nanak Shah Fakir, following a major sit-in protest at a branch of Cineworld in Wolverhampton.

Around 50 Sikh protestors surged into the cinema on April 19, chanting protests until the cinema owners cancelled the screening. Dozens of cinema-goers had to leave the cinema, and were later promised refunds. The cinema owners say they are working with police to investigate the incident.

The film, a biopic of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak, was being protested because the religion prohibits any personification of the Guru, either by actors or in animated movies.

A Cineworld spokesperson said it would stop showing the film because:

We want our customers to enjoy visiting our cinemas and experience a wide range of films without disruption from others.

Odeon confirmed it would also cancel planned screenings following the protest.

There has been strident opposition to the film in India, where the film has also been cancelled until changes have been made that satisfy the Sikh community.

The state of Punjab, where the religion originated, had already banned the film ahead of release so that “scenes that depict the physical form of the Guru Nanak Dev” could be removed.

Producer Harinder Singh Sikka released a statement saying Nanak Shah Fakir would now be removed from cinemas worldwide until the changes were made.

He said that the Jathedar, a leading Sikh spokesman:

Told me that some changes need to be made in the movie and I agreed to it. At the same time, the Jathedar said the movie has been made with great passion and faith.

He said that among those who have seen the film:

There is not even a single person who is not commending the movie.

He expressed frustration at not being asked for the changes during production, which he said had approval from Sikh authorities.

According to this report, some cinema goers were left frightened by the episode. One man, who asked not to be named, said he was among dozens of customers asked to leave the multiplex when the commotion ensued. He said:

It was extremely intimidating. For a group of people to be able to get a film stopped and then banned is just ridiculous. It’s an attack on freedom of speech. The atmosphere was quite aggressive in there and it’s not what you expect to face when you go and watch a film.

23 responses to “Angry Sikhs force movie cancellation”

  1. Don Cornetto says:

    Mob rule.

  2. Don Cornetto says:

    Those protesting should feel the force of the law…substantial fines please.

  3. Broga says:

    If the Christians decide they are not going to have images of their 3 in 1 God shown then some major work is going to be needed. Including the removal of the life size, emaciated near skeletal, tortured, near nude figure of Jesus outside my nearest RC Church.

  4. RussellW says:

    Where are all the ‘moderate’ Sikhs who support freedom of expression?

  5. L.Long says:

    I hear all the commenters cussing other with “but sikhs aint isLame!!!!!!”
    Ya! Right!!! They may not be isLame, but if the animals quacks they are all ducks.

  6. Don’t you love the doublespeak?

    “A Cineworld spokesperson said it would stop showing the film because:
    ‘We want our customers to enjoy visiting our cinemas and experience a wide range of films…'”

  7. Robster says:

    Couldn’t the offended Sikhs just not go and see the film? They have quite a gall imposing their desires on all including the majority that don’t follow their rather minority cult.

  8. Trevor Blake says:

    I am glad that these protestors are not experiencing the same treatment delivered back at them. I would be against 50 people entering their building and chanting until the rightful owners are forced to leave. I often use sarcasm here at the Freethinker, but this is truth.

  9. Newspaniard says:

    Hmmmm… Is anyone forcing these religiots to watch the film?

  10. Newspaniard says:

    Barry, there seems to be a bug in your comments system. I’ve just commented. It disappeared and I was returned with Don Cornetto’s and invited to edit it? All other comments have vanished. When this happened to me previously, I found that if I left the site and returned all would be well.
    BFN.

  11. Newspaniard says:

    Back again and the comments have reappeared.

  12. David Anderson says:

    Make the fuckers wear crash helmets.

  13. Daz says:

    Over the years, there’s been a huge number of films which showed things I didn’t want to see. I found this great method of avoiding seeing those things. It’s a revolutionary concept I call ‘not watching the bloody film,’ and though I realise it’s a somewhat daring idea, I’ve found it works quite well.

    ———————–

    @Newspaniard

    Hold the shift key down whilst clicking refresh. It reloads the whole page, and the comments should appear. (I’m assuming there’s some kind of bug with the way the page is caching in people’s browsers, as several of us have had the same trouble.)

  14. h3r3tic says:

    No doubt many atheists think the movie “Left Behind”, (3.1/10 according to IMDB) was a complete pile of shite, Had we stormed into cinemas shouting that the movie should not be screened because it offended our sensibilities we would have been rightly charged with numerous offences. Somehow, because religion is involved, action that is otherwise unlawful is overlooked by the authorities. This is wrong and is really starting to piss me off. If any readers have any experience of UK law and know whether individuals not affected by the actual events described can make a complaint to the police and make them enforce the laws of this country please comment below and I’ll happily make the complaint myself.

  15. John says:

    ‘The cinema owners say they are working with police to investigate the incident.’
    So, will this result in the prosecution of the leaders of the rabble who interfered with the people wanting to view the film? Almost certainly not.
    I can only conclude that this sort of behaviour is acceptable to the authorities in this country. They previously allowed Sikhs to stop a play being shown in the past and there is the infamous actions of Khameini in declaring a fatwa against Rushdie for his Satanic Verses which evoked no worthwhile response from the authorities in this country, other than to place Rushdie under effective house arrest for the rest of his life.
    “Why are things the way they are?” “Because that is how the power elite want them to be” is the only possible answer.
    With a general election polling day in the near offing, politicians will run a mile from any kind of controversy, religious or otherwise.
    What a spineless bunch we have running this country.

  16. dennis says:

    go Charlie Hebdo! go Charlie Hebdo!
    lets pick on them all. its time for some Holy Smoke Book reading.
    go Charlie Hebdo! go Charlie Hebdo

  17. Peterat says:

    The “authorities” that you were consulting during the filming and production did not have the authority to authorize, on behalf of all other authorities, the creation of the film.
    Silly man!

  18. 1859 says:

    There was something similar with christians who protested outside cinemas. Also in the early Holywood depictions of christ they would never show his face and always film him from the rear. But then Charlston Heston’s great hairy chest was always so much more interesting!

  19. Laura Roberts says:

    Picketing outside the theater is perfectly OK. Of course, it’s likely to backfire when folks like me decide to see the movie just to piss them off, but it’s a time-honored way to announce disapproval.

    But going inside, disrupting the theater and threatening the audience is childish and potentially dangerous. Hence they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  20. Scethin says:

    @Laura Roberts.
    But going inside, disrupting the theater and threatening the audience is childish and potentially dangerous. Hence they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Yes they should be, and a group of secular protesters probably would be, but experience tells us that `they’ wont be.

  21. Raz says:

    This incident again proves there is too much of respect for “religious sentiments”. Along with respect there is also fear – fear of losing ones votes and fear of being branded racist.

    Therefore I fully agree with h3r3tic: “Somehow, because religion is involved, action that is otherwise unlawful is overlooked by the authorities. This is wrong and is really starting to piss me off.”

    Ones a film is legally released in the market, no one has any right to indulge in public protests against the movie. These protestors should either be asked to stop their act or fined.

    The more you give in to their demands the more they will be emboldened.

    This is an endemic problem in Asian countries where religious influences hold sway. The problem become institutionalised when you depend on these religious groups for Votes. In that case, you indirectly give license to “religious hooliganism”.

    What the Sikhs have done is positively unlawful! And they should be fined!

  22. mark taha says:

    Is it available on DVD-or could it be shown on TV regardless of these bigots?

  23. Veronica brown says:

    Where are the photos that must have been taken by members of the audience being intimidated by these brainwashed thugs?