Controversial Prophet Mohammad film to be shown in Toronto
Plans to screen a controversial film about the Prophet Muhammad in Toronto may come undone by the simple lack of a theatre willing to host the film that has sparked deadly protests in the Middle East.
The hour-long “Innocence of Muslims” is being aired by the Canadian Hindu Advocacy in Toronto later this month at an undisclosed location, organizers said.
Group spokesman Ron Banerjee said about 200 film buffs are expected for the screening. He said fans will have to undergo heavy security, including metal detectors.
The film has sparked protests in Egypt, Yemen and Libya, where the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi was stormed and the ambassador and three other Americans killed.
“A lot of people want to see this film,” Banerjee said on Friday. “It will be a private showing and filmgoers will be frisked and have to go through a metal detector.”
Banerjee said organizers of TIFF have refused to show the film, which that depicts Muhammad as a womanizer and a madman.
He said venues in Toronto are reluctant to allow the film to be shown on their premises fearing a backlash by radical Muslims.
“We are looking at showing the film at a Hindu temple,” Banerjee said on Friday. “Hindus are furious that people are being killed over this film.”
Banerjee said copies of the film have been withdrawn from circulation but are “available privately.”
Parts of the film are still available on the Internet.
He said viewers will have to book a seat to see the film and undergo searches.
Snippets from other movies that are offensive to Christians and Hindus will also be shown, Banerjee said.
“In Canada, we have tolerance and diversity and they (Muslims) are simply going to have to tolerate diverse viewpoints and opinions without rioting,” he said, adding that he is not concerned about a backlash.
On Friday his group staged an event in which dog owners could walk their canines outside the Salahuddin Mosque, in Scarborough, during prayer sessions.
Their event was in response to an incident in August that took place during an anti-Israel demonstration at Queen’s Park by an Islamic group. A Jewish man was arrested for his involvement in an altercation where he was shoved and his dog was kicked.
Some devout Muslims believe dogs to be unclean and avoid the animals.