Iran slams fatwa against AR Rahman; Hindu group offers conversion


Indian music composer AR Rahman has said that he did not intend to offend anyone when he composed the music for an Iranian film on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Rahman was responding to a religious edict, or 'fatwa,' by a Muslim organization against him and the Iranian director, Majid Majidi.

Now Iranian government has backed up the film and slammed the fatwa.

"The film of Majid Majidi is an artistic work and any opinion about it should be expressed only after seeing it... launching hot discussions before seeing the film may be wrong, illogical and incorrect," said the embassy's release.

"No insult has been committed to Islamic values in the film... The system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from the very beginning, has always been the standard bearer in the defense of Islam," it further stated.

In a message on his Facebook page, Rahman says his decision to compose the music was made in good faith and with no intention of causing offense.

The Mumbai-based Raza Academy has ordered Rahman to reaffirm his faith. It has also demanded that the Indian government ban the screening of the film.

Conversion call

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in India appealed to Oscar winning composer to re-convert to Hinduism, saying it was time for his 'ghar-wapsi' (return home) after the controversy surrounding the film.

"The fatwa against Rahman is very unfortunate and what is more unfortunate is the language of revenge in it.... He composed music for a film not on the basis of any religion... I will appeal to Rahman... he should return, he should do 'ghar-wapsi'. The Hindu society is waiting for its son. We will not only welcome him with open arms but also ensure that no harm is done to him irrespective of how many fatwas are issued," said Surendra Jain, general secretary of the Parishad.

The VHP is an affiliate of the BJP's ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which heads the Sangh Parivar, an umbrella of Hindu nationalist organisations in India.

'Ghar-wapsi' has been a controversial programme run by certain Hindu groups aimed at converting Muslims and Christians back to Hinduism.

Rahman has composed music and background scores for about 130 Indian films. He received Academy awards for best song and original score for the film 'Slumdog Millionaire.'

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