New Delhi: The Delhi Minorities Commission has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi for purportedly producing a “derogatory film” on Aisha, wife of Prophet Muhammad.
In a statement issued Thursday, the commission said, “He (Rizvi) has released an offensive trailer of the said film and has spoken publicly about his controversial project which has enraged many Muslims in the country.”
The move came after the panel received complaints from a group of Delhi residents over media reports.
Rizvi, who wrote and produced Ram Ki Janmabhoomi earlier this year, found himself in a controversy in July after a 17-second teaser of his upcoming film Aisha was reported to feature “inappropriate scenes”. He had denied the charge at the time.
The Shia body chief has been directed to file a reply by 2 October explaining the rationale of the project, what stage it is at, and if he has obtained or applied for certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The commission has also asked Rizvi to attach a CD of the trailer, a copy of the CBFC certification or the application for the same, and a copy of the film’s script with names of the crew members behind it.
The notice also carried an interim order stating, “Since this is a very sensitive matter which may inflame passions of millions of Muslims, may lead to violence on a large-scale and will also defame our country, you are hereby ordered not to proceed in this project in any way while this case is sub-judice at this Commission which has quasi-judicial powers.”
Speaking to ThePrint, Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Zafarul-Islam Khan said, “I have also expressed my anguish to the Central Board of Film Certification.”
In his letter to the CBFC, Khan has said, “…this is a gross insult and sacrilege of highest order which will inflame millions of Muslims not only in India but also in many countries across the world as the wife of the Holy Prophet of Islam must not be shown in a film or even in caricature.”
Requesting the body to deny certification to the “sacrilegious film”, Khan added, “This will, without doubt, lead to violence on our streets.”
The commission also plans to ban the film in Delhi-NCR if it is released here, said Khan.
In July, Rizvi had claimed that he had “created a teaser of Aisha for the digital channel”. “However, some anti-social elements incorporated inappropriate scenes in the teaser and made it viral on social media.”
He added that his production, Waseem Rizvi Films, did not have “any association with it”.