Moment Muslim activists storm Birmingham screening of controversial Bollywood film about Islamic State

22 May 2023, 15:26

Shakeel Afsar led the protests against The Kerala Story
Shakeel Afsar led the protests against The Kerala Story. Picture: 5 Pillars

By Kit Heren

This is the moment Muslim activists in Birmingham stormed the screening of an "extremist" film about the Islamic State in an attempt to shut it down.

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Protesters led by Shakeel Afsar, who also campaigned to block a school in Birmingham from teaching about LGBT equality, can be seen at the showing of Kerala Story at the Cineworld in Birmingham on Friday evening.

The scenes were captured by Muslim group 5Pillars, who posted the footage onto their YouTube channel.

Cineworld confirmed that the screening had been paused while staff dealt with the protesters, but said that the film began playing again soon afterwards.

Indian film Kerala Story tells the story of Hindu and Christian people in the Indian state of Kerala who are recruited by terrorist group the Islamic State.

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Anti-Muslim movie The Kerala Story screening disrupted in Birmingham

Some Muslims consider the film Islamophobic and have claimed it is propaganda for the country's ruling BJP party, who have been criticised for their treatment of the sizeable Indian Muslim minority. Some politicians in Kerala have called for the film to be banned.

In the ten-minute clip, Mr Afsar can be heard saying: "This film is lies. This film is made to divide us. We have lived together for many years... Narendra Modi [the prime minister of India] has endorsed this film.

"An extremist has endorsed this film. We will not allow it."

The activists were eventually ejected from the Birmingham screening, and staff were able to start the film again.

Read more: Police 'give words of advice' to boy who sent death threats to autistic student who lightly scuffed Quran at school

Mr Afsar at the screening
Mr Afsar at the screening. Picture: 5 Pillars

One staff member can be heard saying: "If you're not going to be quiet, we are not going to stop this film again. If you want to watch this film you should calm down first. I am going to resume this film.

"We're trying to deal with this in the best way we can. We've paused the film, we've turned the lights on, we've called the police."

Cineworld spokesperson said: 'A customer incident at Cineworld Birmingham on Broad Street caused brief disruption to a screening of Kerala Story.

"Cineworld staff dealt with the incident swiftly and the screening was resumed with minimal delay."

Read more: Muslim gangs tell inmates 'convert or get hurt' and offer 'protection' to new prisoners if they take up Islam

Read more: Casey report: 10 damning claims against Met include bacon hidden in Muslim officer's boots and 'sex obsessed' officers

The Kerala Story star Adah Shah
The Kerala Story star Adah Shah. Picture: Getty

Kerala Story's teaser trailer claims that 32,000 women were forced to convert to Islam and become terrorists for Islamic State.

But Alt News, an Indian fact-checking website, that said there was no evidence to support this claim.

Mr Afsar has been banned from protesting outside Anderton Park primary school in Birmingham after leading a local protest against the teaching of LGBT equality.

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