- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

Censorship boards across the Muslim world have banned the release of Darren Aronofsky’s new Biblical epic “Noah,” because of claims that the film violates Islamic law.

On Thursday, censorship boards in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates informed Paramount Pictures they will block the release of the film, the Hollywood Reporter said. Similar rulings are expected in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait, according to Paramount insiders.

Al-Azhar, a major Sunni Muslim institute in Egypt, issued a statement Thursday, saying that such films are “contrary to faith and to the fundamentals of the Islamic Sharia [law].”

“Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah’s prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Mohammed],” the statement read, according to Al Arabiya.

Paramount Pictures plans to release the film — starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson — tentatively on March 26 in Egypt. It’s set to hit the U.S. on March 28.

Last week, Paramount agreed to make clear in the film’s marketing materials that it is meant to be creative, rather than a literal adaptation of the Bible, the Hollywood Reporter said.

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