Russell Crowe will appear in the film, "Noah," and it is getting heat for its "irreligious" views by those in Egypt. There is debate that the movie should not play in that nation due to Islamic opposition with Crowe's portrayal as Noah.
ABC Australia reported March 7 that one of the country's main Sunni Muslim authorities, Al-Azhar institute, claims the production violates Islam by portraying Noah as a prophet. "Noah" with Russell Crowe is set to premiere in Egypt on March 26. Paramount Pictures announced on its website that "Noah" would also be released in other Middle Eastern countries on March 27.
The reported noted that Al-Azhar has the power to play an advisory role on censoring movies and books in Egypt, but does not make the final decision in banning anything. The country's censorship board must approve any movie before it plays.
Crowe playing a prophet in the film "contradicts the stature of prophets and messengers... and antagonises the faithful", the institution said in a statement.
It is not just Egypt where there is uneasiness over Crowe's role. In the U.S. some Christians feel the actor's role as Noah is "unconventional."
Other movies censored in Egypt include "The Da Vinci Code" when protests from members of the Orthodox Coptic Church emerged. It did screen "The Passion of Christ," directed by Mel Gibson. Muslims do believe Jesus was a prophet, but not that he was crucified.
Anytime there is a movie made with religious content, there is going to be some backlash. Despite the negative hype in Egypt surrounding "Noah," Russell Crowe and the producers will enjoy another great film success.
Copyright © 2014 Heather Tooley
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