Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have all banned the release of the film “Noah” in their respective countries.
The movie, which premieres on March 28th, 2014, stars Russell Crowe as Noah, the biblical figure who along with his family, survives the Great Flood recounted in the book of Genesis.
In an interview with Reuters, Paramount Pictures confirmed the ban, adding that they expect a similar ban in other Arab countries. “The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because ‘it contradicts the teachings of Islam’, a representative from Paramount Pictures told Reuters.
Although Noah is a revered figure in all three monotheistic religions, Islam forbids the representations of holy figures, such as the Prophet Mohammed, in any form of art. Al-Azhar, a major Sunni Islam authority in Cairo, issued a fatwa, a religious ruling, against the film.
“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,” the fatwa stated. The movie, it went on to say, provokes “the feelings of believers and are forbidden in Islam and a clear violation of Islamic law.” (J.A.E.)