Malaysia is the latest country to join its fellow Islamic countries in banning the Hollywood biblical epic "Noah" starring Russell Crowe, on the basis that it is irreligious and saying it violates Islamic law against depicting prophets.
According to a home ministry official on Saturday, it's been confirmed that Paramount's latest successful film, which has sparked an outcry among Muslim groups worldwide, will not make it to the big screen in predominantly Muslim Malaysia.
The film didn't only upset Muslims around the world, but it also angered some Christian institutions in the United States over Crowe's reportedly unconventional portrayal of Noah, who is regarded as an important figure in both Christianity and Islam.
The decision to ban the film in Malaysia was made about two weeks ago by Malaysia's home ministry Film Censorship Board and its Chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid.
"Yes, I can confirm that it has been banned by the board, the movie can cause quite a lot of anger and distress if it is shown in Malaysia," he was quoted as saying by The Malay Mail Online.
The main reason behind banning the film, according to Abdul Halim, was the portrayal of Noah by Crowe, since Islam forbids visual depictions of any prophet.
Muslims make up 60 percent of multi-ethnic Malaysia's 30 million population, while Christians account for about nine percent, according to AFP.
Other films banned by Malaysia on religious grounds in the past included Brokeback Mountain and The Passion of the Christ.
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