Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has joined forces with Cornerstone Ministries, a fundamentalist church group based in Surrey, to try and prevent the film being distributed in this country.
In a letter to a co-president of the Japanese conglomerate, the coalition said: "This alliance is prepared to zealously recommend that each particular group advises its assembly, congregation, or community to stop purchasing Sony products until this film is either banned or discarded." The proposed boycott would not start until 8 January.
The film, directed by David Cronenberg and based on the novel by JG Ballard, describes the life of a group of perverts who gain pleasure from car crashes, and includes a sex sequence involving a woman wearing calipers. The film has already been banned by Westminster City Council, which prevents it being shown in the West End of London. It has not yet been issued with a certificate by the British Board of Film Classification. It was violently attacked as exceeding all possible limits of taste, and defended by 50 leading film makers as a work of art which should be released uncut.
Six Muslim organisations have signed up to the appeal, among them the Bradford Council of Mosques and the self-selected Muslim parliament. Eight Christian groups have also signed. Three are the English branches of American television evangelists, among them Benny Hinn Media Missionaries and Team Thrust UK.
Campaigns against Hollywood values are gaining currency in the USA, where Christian groups have protested against the Disney corporation for distributing the film Priest - which concerned the struggles of a gay priest in Liverpool - as well as giving benefits to gay employees.
But this is the first time such a campaign has attracted support from both Muslim and Christian fundamentalists. The coalition against the film claims to have 105,000 on its mailing lists.##