The Hollywood film Noah, starring Russell Crowe, has created quite a stir in the Muslim world and three Arab countries have already banned the film. More are expected to follow.
The reason is that the movie depicts a holy figure,-which is strictly prohibited in Islam.
This is not the first time that religious feathers have been ruffled. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christand the Arab mini-series Omarabout the seventh century Muslim ruler and companion of Prophet Mohammad, also gave rise to a lot of objections in the Muslim world.
The publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper in 2006 sparked riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in which at least 50 people died.
Some years later, an amateur film depicting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed caused a violent reaction around the world. Pakistan banned YouTube over the movie and internet users in the country still do not have access to the site more than a year later.
So it’s not really surprising that the Russell Crowe/Anthony Hopkins starrer, scheduled for a release on March 28th across USA, has already been in banned Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as, ‘'it contradicts the teachings of Islam.’
But it’s is not just the Muslim World that has issues with Noah.
According to Darren Aronofsky, the director for the movie, a disclaimer was added to the film at the request of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) which reads,“[t]he film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
According to NRB board member Phil Cooke, the film is “historically inaccurate” and “more of an inspired movie than an exact retelling.”
Answers In Genesis President Ken Ham feels that the film’s script “is not at all faithful to the biblical account in Genesis.”
Brian Godawa, a screenwriter, also shares the same opinion and says that the film’s script “is deeply anti-Biblical in its moral vision.”
“Noah is a kind of rural shaman and vegan hippie-like gatherer of herbs. Noah explains that his family tries to study and heal the world whenever possible, like a kind of environmentalist scientist,” Godawa writes.
Godawa may come across as too sensitive over the matter but so do many others across the globe where religion is concerned.