Documentary On Extremism Banned In Pakistan


Abdul Aziz Ghazi, head cleric of the Red Mosque, quizzes one of his newest students. Photo by Adil Sheryar.

Abdul Aziz Ghazi, head cleric of the Red Mosque, quizzes one of his newest students. Photo by Adil Sheryar.

Having been screened in over twenty countries and subsequently picking up numerous awards, Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s hard-hitting documentary, Among The Believers was recently axed by the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) in Pakistan.

In a notification issued by the CBFC, it stated that “the [production] contains dialogues which project the negative image of Pakistan in the context of the ongoing fight against extremism and terrorism.”

To be showcased at a film festival in the capital, the documentary was banned along with Besieged In Quetta (a production about the persecution and plight of the Hazara community in Pakistan).

Having been filmed over the course of five precarious years, Among The Believers follows the infamous Pakistani cleric and ISIS supporter, Abdul Aziz Ghazi, in light of a country on the precipice of acute religiosity and rising sectarian violence.

“We’ve watched as the film catalyzed vital conversations about the roots of religious violence,” stated Trivedi, speaking about the documentary’s international screenings, “Many audience members told us the film completely changed the way they viewed Pakistan. We believe the Pakistani government should be embracing this vital counter-narrative of the War on Terror.”

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