Egyptian Muslim scholars object to 'Noah' film depicting prophet

March 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM
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CAIRO, March 6 (UPI) -- Some Muslim scholars in Egypt are objecting to the upcoming release of biblical film "Noah" because it violates a ban on depicting prophets in art.

Sheikh Sameh Abdel Hameed, a member of the Salafi Call group, which advocates implementing strict Sharia law in the country, said the U.S.-made film "Noah," directed by Darren Aronofsky, runs afoul of Islamic law for depicting the biblical Noah, who is considered a prophet in Islam, OnIslam.net reported Thursday.

Creating depictions of prophets in art is a "crime; not art, that is harmful to the image of prophets," Abdel Hameed said.

"Depicting prophets opens the door for doubting the behavior of prophets ... Actors cannot accurately mimic the behaviors, manners and appearances of prophets," he said.

"Egypt has a special place in the Islamic world and movies that damage Islam or harm prophets should not be displayed in the country," Abdel Hameed said.

"Noah" has already raised controversy among some religious groups who accused the script of taking liberties with biblical story. Producers added a message to trailers and posters to clarify the film's position.

"The 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 message reads. "The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."

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