'Noah' film banned in three Arab countries
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/11/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The news comes as no great surprise - as these societies disdain Western culture to begin with: Three Arab countries have banned the film "Noah" on what they call religious grounds. The film has been banned sight unseen in three countries before its worldwide premiere. Several other countries are expected to follow suit, a representative of Paramount Pictures says.
"Noah" the film comes with a highly distinguished pedigree. The lead is played by Oscar winner Russell Crowe and is supported by the venerated Anthony Hopkins, under the direction of Darren Aronofsky, the director of the highly lauded 2000 film "Requiem for a Dream."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Islam frowns upon representing holy figures in art. Depictions of the Prophet Mohammad in both European and North American media have sparked protests in Islamic countries over the last decade.
"Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) officially confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries," a representative of Paramount Pictures said.
"Noah" the film comes with a highly distinguished pedigree. The lead is played by Oscar winner Russell Crowe and is supported by the venerated Anthony Hopkins, under the direction of Darren Aronofsky, the director of the highly lauded 2000 film "Requiem for a Dream." The $125 million film is set to debut in the United States on March 28.
"The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because 'it contradicts the teachings of Islam'," the representative said. Paramount expects a similar ban in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.
Noah, who in the Bible's Book of Genesis built the ark that saved his family and many pairs of animals from a great flood, is revered by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. An entire chapter in the Koran is devoted to him.
Cairo, Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam and a main center of Islamic teaching for over a millennium, issued a fatwa, or religious injunction, against the film last week.
"Al-Azhar ... renews its objection to any act depicting the messengers and prophets of God and the companions of the Prophet (Mohammad), peace be upon him," it announced in a statement.
They "provoke the feelings of believers ... and are forbidden in Islam and a clear violation of Islamic law," the fatwa added.
All films with biblical themes have faced controversy from some religious communities. Many groups feel that their interpretation of sacred texts are neutered, changed or do not fall in line with their teachings.
However, it must be noted that Mel Gibson's 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ" on Jesus' crucifixion was widely screened in the Arab World, despite a flurry of objections by Muslim clerics.
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