Egypt, Morocco Ban Exodus Film
CAIRO – The Hollywood biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has been banned in Egypt and Morocco over historical inaccuracies and “depicting Allah”, sparking controversy in the North African Muslim countries.
“This totally contradicts proven historical facts,” the Egyptian culture minister, Gaber Asfour, was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP).
“It is a Zionist film.
“It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies and that’s why we have decided to ban it.”
According to Asfour, the film that claims that “Moses and the Jews built the pyramids” is rife with mistakes.
The decision to ban the movie followed a meeting of a committee that comprises the head of the supreme council for culture, Mohammed Afifi, the head of the censorship committee and two history professors.
Afifi criticized the film for showing Moses holding a sword instead of a stick, like the original story, during the scene of Red Sea parting that was “tidal phenomenon” rather than a divine miracle.
A similar controversy over a biblical epic film emerged last March when Al-Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, issued a fatwa against Noah film, causing its ban.
In Islam, Moses is loved and respected; he is both a Prophet and a Messenger.
God mentions him more than 120 times, and his story ranges across several chapters; the longest and most detailed story of a prophet in the Qur’an.
In both Judaism and Christianity Moses is a central figure.
He is the man from the Old Testament most mentioned in the New Testament who led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, communicated with God and received the Ten Commandments.
Moses is known as both a religious leader and a lawgiver.
Egypt’s decision to ban the controversial film was preceded by a similar decision last Thursday by Morocco, where cinemas were ordered not to show the film, despite earlier approval by the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre.
“They phoned and threatened they would shut down the theatre if I did not take the film off the schedule,” Hassan Belkady, who runs Cinema Rif in Casablanca, told Media24 news website.
Furthermore, Moroccan distributors were officially informed on Saturday, December 27, that the film has been banned for including a scene that shows God in the form of a “child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses”.
The film was taken off from the schedules of the country’s cinemas, distributor Mounia Layadi Benkirane said in a statement.
“The last screening was on Friday night at 21.30. I respect the decision of the MCC board,” she said.
“The child through whom Moses receives the revelation in the film at no time says he is God,” she said, noting that such a film ban is “very rare” in the North African country.
Since its release in Morocco, the film is believed to have earned 1.8 million Dirhams with 35,000 tickets sold.
Now the buzz caused by the controversy “will profit only the pirates who continue to peddle the film,” the distributor Benkirane said.
In 2004, a similar controversy erupted after the release of “The Passion of the Christ” movie, which depicted the last 12 hours in the life of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), [before being taken up and saved from crucifixion].
In 2012, a television series depicting the life of second Muslim Caliph Omar ibn al-khattab also sparked a heightened debate in the Arab world with million opposing the depiction of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) or his companions.
Muslim scholars oppose the depiction of the Prophets in any form of art.
This means a movie maker should not do that, nor should any Islamic organization, mosque or institute promote such a movie/series, by showing it to their congregation.
Posted on December 29, 2014, in NEWS and tagged Allah, ban, ban exodus film, Cairo, censorhip, christianity, communicated, controversy, countries, country, egypt, exodus, exodus film, exodus gods and kings, film, God, historical, hollywood, judaism, mentions, Morocco, Moses, musa, news, north african muslim countries, professors, sparking, testament, zionism, zionist film, zionist view of history. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.