A SCOTTISH cinema is being urged to reverse its decision to cancel a screening of a controversial film about the life of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Grosvenor in Glasgow’s West End was due to show Oscar-nominated film The Message next month but decided not to proceed after receiving complaints from those opposed to the broadcasting.

Those behind the boycott campaign claim the film – which was subject to fierce protests when the movie was being made in 1977, including a hostage-taking incident that resulted in the deaths of two people – is "inappropriate and disrespectful". They list a number of objections which include non-Muslim actors playing the roles of Mohammed’s close companions, as well as historical inaccuracies.

It is understood that while no threats of violence were made, Grosvenor management pulled the plug on the screening scheduled for November 15, fearing potential protests and disruption to other cinema goers if they decided to go ahead.

The organisers of the screening, the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), say it is with "deep regret" the showing has been cancelled especially "in the face of a small number of objections".

The ISB have received support from SNP MSP Humza Yousaf who offered to take up the issue directly with the venue. He said: “I am appalled that they [Grosvenor] have caved in the face of a few narrow-minded imbeciles.”

An anonymous online petition against the showing of the film has 93 supporters, the majority from Scotland but some signatories include individuals from Nigeria, Bahrain, Mauritius and Saudi Arabia. There is a suspicion that some comments, given their brevity, are from fake accounts.

In their online petition, opponents state: "This film is hugely inappropriate and we humbly request the ISB reconsider and refrain from showing this film."

The opponents add that use of non-Muslim actors to portray key people behind the birth of Islam is "totally unacceptable" and on a par with using cartoons to depict the Prophet.

"The film contains other inappropriate material such as music and dancing," the say.

A spokesman for the ISB said: “As Scottish Muslims we believe in the principles of freedom of speech and have worked for decades to promote the rights of people to make Islam relevant to British society. Everyone must have the right to live by their beliefs and we must learn to tolerate differences of scholarly opinion.

“These protestors demonstrate the worst elements of our community as they are imposing their beliefs on others. We will not be bullied by these people and challenge them to make themselves known. We are also appealing for the Grosvenor to stick to the original agreement and show the film.”

G1 Group, which owns the Grosvenor cinema, did not respond to a request for comment.