KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Hollywood director Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah', a film loosely based on the prophet venerated by Muslims and Christians has been banned in Malaysia, the Home Ministry confirmed today.
The ministry's Film Censorship Board (LPF) division chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said the decision was made two weeks ago after the board viewed the film during a private screening together with officials from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
“Yes, I can confirm that it has been banned by the board, the movie can cause quite a lot of anger and distress if it is shown in Malaysia,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.
The main reason for the ban, according to Abdul Halim, was Noah's depiction by Hollywood actor Russell Crowe. Islam forbids visual depictions of any prophet.
“It is un-Islamic for anyone to act out any characters of a prophet. If it is an issue to draw pictures of a prophet, what more a movie? Of course this is prohibited, it is prohibited in Islam,” said the LPF head.
Abdul Halim added that the promoters of the film in Malaysia have already been informed of the decision.
The film is said to be based on the biblical story of Noah's Ark and already been reported banned by several Islamic countries including Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
Crowe told UK paper The Telegraph on March 22 he was not surprised that the movie would banned by some countries, and pointed out “it is a tenet of the Muslim religion that you can’t make stories or render images about the Prophet.”