Indonesian cleric wants boycott of Islam film

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A senior Indonesian cleric has called on Muslims to boycott a new film about Islam s treatment of women, saying it slanders the religion, a report said Friday.

Ali Mustafa Yaqub, the lead cleric at the capital s main Istiqlal Grand Mosque, said Perempuan Berkalung Sorban (Woman with a Scarf around Her Neck) sullied the reputation of Islam, news website Detikcom reported.

The film by Indonesian director Hanung Bramantyo tells the story of a student, the daughter of a conservative cleric, who rebels against limitations on women at an Islamic boarding school on Indonesia s main island of Java.

The image the film gives of Islamic schools is very regrettable and I d be bold enough to say it doesn t just wreck their image as much as slander them, Yaqub said.

My advice is just don t watch it. Full stop.

This film could create misunderstandings about Islam and Islamic schools, said Yaqub, who is also the deputy of the fatwa (religious edict) commission of the powerful Indonesian Ulema Council.

Filmmaker Brahmantyo s 2008 Islam-based hit Ayat-Ayat Cinta (Verses of Love) dealt with polygamy and religious prejudice and became a runaway hit in Indonesia, the world s largest Muslim-majority country. -AFP

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