No smooth sailing for "Noah's" Ark: Blockbuster faces ban in Arab world
Several Middle Eastern countries have chosen to ban director Darren Aronofsky's upcoming epic Noah.
The upcoming movie has come under fire because it contradicts Islamic law with its portrayal of a prophet on film. The objection is based on the belief that such depiction of holy figures cannot be accurate, and that actors cannot imitate the prophets' actual behaviors and mannerisms. An inaccurate portrayal is thought to open the door for believers to then question that prophet's behavior.
Censorship boards in Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, upset by the depiction, reportedly informed Paramount that they will not allow a release of the film. Jordan and Kuwait are expected to follow.
Objection has been raised in Egypt as well. Leading Egyptian Sunni Muslim institute Al-Azhar is said to have issued a statement on Thursday that condemned the movie and called for the film to be banned. The institute said that such depictions are "contrary to faith and to the fundamentals of the Islamic Sharia," and that Al-Azhar "renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Mohammad]."
The movie has a tentative release date of March 26 in Egypt. Paramount insiders apparently said that the studio foresaw problems with the film's release in Muslim countries.