TORONTO – A little-known Canadian Hindu group plans to screen the controversial Innocence of Muslims film in Toronto later this month.
All that’s needed is a local cinema to accommodate the screening of the film by a California filmmaker about the Prophet Muhammad that has led to fatal protests against an American embassy in Libya and other targets in the Middle East.
“There is an element of standing up for our values. In our society we are allowed to screen films, even if they are offensive,” Ron Banerjee, a spokesman for Canadian Hindu Advocacy, told CTVNews.ca on Friday.
Banerjee added viewers of the film will face heavy security, including metal detectors, when they arrive for the screening, should it go ahead.
The mysterious, low-budget film trailer on YouTube for Innocence of Muslims has sparked riots across the Middle East, prompting a security clampdown at American embassies in the region.
The burning of the American Embassy in Tunisia, clashes in Sudan and a death in Yemen have been reported since an upsurge in violence on Thursday.
The Canadian Hindu organization spokesman added organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival, which wraps on Sunday, refused to screen the film.
Other commercial cinemas city-wide have also declined to screen the film for fear of a Muslim backlash, according to Banerjee.