“Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) officially confirmed this week that Noah will not release in their countries,” a representative of Paramount Pictures told Reuters. “The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because ‘it contradicts the teachings of Islam’,” the representative said, adding the studio expected a similar ban in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.
Noah, in the past months, has received critical remarks – screening audiences reported that the film did not depict the events of Noah’s Ark exactly as prior films.
“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.
This is not the first time a major motion picture has been the recipient of controversial remarks. In 2004, Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” also received criticism and harsh remarks from several Arab countries. While “The Passion of the Christ” was not banned, many officials within the Arab countries frowned upon the Hollywood aspect of pairing film and religion.
The highly anticipated Hollywood film, Noah, is set to release in the United States March 28, 2014.