It’s safe to say that the Muslim side of the world is not too keen on seeing the upcoming Hollywood film, “Noah”.
The biblical epic film, which is directed and co-written by Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, features New Zealand actor Russell Crowe as the ark-building follower of God. In a statement given by a representative of Paramount Pictures to Reuters, censorship officials from Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have banned the showing of “Noah” in their local theaters, on religious grounds.
The film previously sparked a religion-fueled debate among conservative Christians in the United States, which compelled Paramount Pictures to modify its marketing material with a disclaimer that says, “artistic license has been taken” in interpreting the story of Noah.
The Arab Muslim world is reacting negatively to a forthcoming movie about Noah, sacred history’s first boat-builder http://t.co/0bAaYgeFus
— Shikohemasood (@cheekom) March 14, 2014
Juma Al-Leem, who is the director of media content at the UAE’s National Media Center, informed the Associated Press that the reason behind the prohibition is the fact that Islam disapproves of the depiction of the Prophet Mohammad as well as other holy figures in art and films as it promotes the worship of a person rather than God.
After watching “Noah”, the censors added that some of the scenes in the film contradict Islamic teachings and that these elements might offend their viewers. Cairo’s Al-Azhar, which is the foremost center of Islamic studies, issued a religious edict called a fatwa against the film’s showing. The edict declared that the film is a “clear violation of Islamic law”.
The big-budget film, which cost $125 million to make, will premiere on March 28 in American cinemas. Apart from Crowe, “Noah” also features other big Hollywood names such as Sir Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife Naameh, and Emma Watson as Ila.
Noah is one of 25 prophets that the Qu’ran mentions by name. His Arabic name is Nuh, and is believed by Muslims to have been commanded by God to build an ark after seeing the people in his community refusing to worship God alone. There are subtle differences between the Qu’ranic and biblical versions of Noah’s story, although both accounts mention a massive flood and Noah’s ark saving a pair of each animal species.
I can’t wait to see the movie “Noah” with @russellcrowe ! He is one of my favorite actors for sure.
— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) March 6, 2014
Watch ‘Noah’ Trailer
Image via YouTube