Muslim leaders call for restraint over brothel play

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The Independent Culture

Muslim leaders urged the community to respond "extremely carefully" after a theatre staged a play featuring an Asian brothel, months after being forced to close a production which featured a rape in a Sikh temple.

Muslim leaders urged the community to respond "extremely carefully" after a theatre staged a play featuring an Asian brothel, months after being forced to close a production which featured a rape in a Sikh temple.

Bells, written by Anglo-Pakistani Yasmin Whittaker Khan, opened last night at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, despite the reservations of some Muslims. Set in a fictional British mujra, or brothel, where Islamic women are trapped in the sex trade, itclaims to expose the hypocrisy of the men who visit them. The production follows the closure last year of Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's Behzti, after the playwright's life was threatened by extremist protesters, who claimed it insulted their religion.

Community leaders urged a calm response from Birmingham's large Muslim community. Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said there was "no reason to respond in an extreme manner" if the religion was not denigrated. "We would not seek to prevent this play being held."

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