Islamic countries denounce 'Noah' the movie - not the man

Posted: March 11, 2014

FOR A MOVIE based on a book written thousands of years ago, "Noah" is sure stirring up a fair amount of modern-day controversy.

Before anyone had even seen Darren Aronofsky's retelling of the Biblical tale, with a slightly tweaked story ark, certain Christian groups were upset that the movie wasn't literal enough in its rendering of the very old man and the sea.

Now, three Arab countries have banned "Noah" on religious grounds because Islam frowns upon representing holy figures in art. And Old Testament Noah, you may not know, has an entire chapter devoted to him in the Quran.

"Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE [United Arab Emirates] officially confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries," a Paramount Pictures rep told Reuters.

"The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because 'it contradicts the teachings of Islam.' " the rep said, adding that the studio expected similar bans in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.

The film will premiere in the United States on March 28. Russell Crowe stars as Noah.

Cairo's Al-Azhar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam and a main center of Islamic teaching for more than a millennium, issued a fatwa against the film on Thursday.

* In other movie news, Connecticut could become the first state to curb loud movies under proposed legislation that's drawing opposition from the Motion Picture Association of America.

The Legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee is considering the bill, which would prevent theaters from showing a film or preview that exceeds 85 decibels.

For Philadelphia, Tattle would propose a bill that would prevent theater patrons from talking to one another louder than 85 decibels.


* Next summer, the "Book of Mormon" musical has been scheduled for a run in Salt Lake City, from July 28 to Aug. 9, in a theater less than half a mile from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' flagship temple and headquarters.

The Mormon church on Friday reiterated its past statement about the show, saying that it might entertain audiences for an evening, but the real Book of Mormon changes people's lives forever.

* The signal of a Saudi-based television network was deliberately jammed by small satellite transmitters in two Cairo locations while airing the show of Egypt's top satirist, the broadcaster's spokesman said Saturday.

It's the latest disruption to hit the popular program.

Bassem Youssef, often compared to Jon Stewart, has often stirred controversy and sometimes faced legal challenges over his skewering of Egyptian politicians and media personalities.

President Obama introduced the debut episode of the science series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" on Fox last night.

Obama and science. If only Fox News could have figured out how to jam that signal.

* A Mexican state's decision to cancel a two-day heavy-metal concert with such bands as Kiss, Twisted Sister and Guns N' Roses is drawing fire from fans and organizers, who say they suspect that political motives and corruption are behind the move.

Political motives and corruption in Mexico? Come on.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

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