KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia and Indonesia have banned the biblical epic "Noah," joining other Muslim nations that forbid the Hollywood movie for its visual depiction of the prophet.
Film censors in both countries said Monday that the portrayal of the ark-building prophet by Russell Crowe was against Islamic laws. Depictions of any prophet are shunned in Islam to avoid worship of a person rather than God.
"The film 'Noah' is not allowed to be screened in this country to protect the sensitivity and harmony in Malaysia's multiracial and multireligious community," Film Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said in a statement.
Malay Muslims make up about 60 percent of Malaysia's 30 million people, and Christians about 9 percent.
In the world's most populous Muslim nation, the head of Indonesia's censor board Muchlis Paeni said the plot of the film directed by Darren Aronofsky contradicted both the Quran and the Bible.
"We have to reject Noah to be screened here," Paeni said. "We don't want a film that could provoke controversies and negative reactions."
The Indonesian Council of Ulama, the country's most influential Islamic body, welcomed the move, saying films that could corrupt religious teachings should be outlawed. Many Indonesians condemned the ban on social media.
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