The trailer of Raees has upset members of the Shia Muslim community by portraying symbols associated with Islam. One scene in particular depicts holy symbols during a Muharram procession. Representatives of the community have written to the Additional Commissioner of Police, and requested that the scenes be cut from the trailer and the movie.
“Shia community members informed me about the objectionable scenes and requested me to take up the issue with the concerned authorities so that the filmmakers remove it not only from the trailer but also from the film. If including the religious rituals followed by the Shias to commemorate the martyrdom of the Imam Hussain and his family in Karbala was not enough, Khan is seen jumping over the flags and symbols in an action scene,” said Javed Shroff, a prominent member of the community.
The letter to the police carries a request that Shah Rukh Khan and the makers of Raees withdraw all such scenes. It also says that there would be a peaceful protest if the request was not heeded.
Javed Shroff added that as the issue affected Shias across the country and the world, he had also requested the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Gulam Nabi Azad, MP Ahmad Patel, and MP Rajiv Shukla to resolve the issue amicably. Shukla is known to be on good terms with SRK.
Earlier, Raees producer Farhan Akhtar had said he would not donate to the Army fund as “penance” for casting Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, as demanded by a right-wing outfit. Later, after the trailer’s release, Rakesh Roshan complained that the makers of Raees had put it in box-office competition with Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil by changing the release date to 25 January. Roshan claims that he chose the 25 January release date precisely to avoid a release clash with Raees.
Raees is set in Gujarat in the 1980s. The film is produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani, and Farhan Akhtar under their banners Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, and has Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan in supporting roles. Sunny Leone has been roped in for a special song in the film.