Sunni Mullah removed as UK government adviser over ‘blasphemous’ Lady of Heaven protests


Qari Asim, the head imam at the Makkah mosque in Leeds, has been let go from his official Government role


An imam who backed calls for cinemas to cancel a ‘blasphemous’ Islamic film has been sacked a Government advisor on anti-Islamophobia.

Qari Asim, the head imam at the Makkah mosque in Leeds, was let go from his roles as independent adviser on Islamophobia and deputy chairman of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group.

It comes after he endorsed a campaign for cinemas to pull screenings of The Lady of Heaven – a film about the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.

The £12million movie was released in the UK over the Jubilee weekend, but was axed by Cineworld and, a day later, Showcase when staff faced crowds of protesters outside venues in Bradford, Bolton, Birmingham and Sheffield.

Mr Asim described The Lady of Heaven as a ‘disparaging movie’ that has ’caused much pain and hurt to Muslims’, it was reported.

But in a letter published on Saturday, the Department of Levelling Up wrote: ‘We have no option but to withdraw the appointment and end your roles with Government with immediate effect.

‘Your recent support for a campaign to limit free expression – a campaign which has itself encouraged communal tensions – means it is no longer appropriate for you to continue your work with Government in roles designed to promote community harmony.


Rana Tanveer

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