CAIRO: The Ministry of Culture released a statement Sunday further explaining its decision to ban the movie “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” and said the ban was not exclusively for religious reasons.
They added in their statement they saw the movie as another attempt to “Judaize” Egyptian civilization, and that the film contains a number of historical and religious fallacies. Their complaints included: the film showing the anachronistic building of the Giza Pyramids by the Israelites around 1300 BC, claims the Israelites spent at least 400 years in slavery building the monuments of the pharaohs and the depiction of biblical figure Moses as a military commander instead of a prophet.
The statement, despite its claims of “Judaization,” even said the film was racist in its portrayal of Jews. “It showed [Jews] as a group capable of fighting, burning and even making explosions; however, the fact is that they were a vulnerable community at that time,” the Ministry of Culture said. It also criticized the film’s “beastlike” portrayal of Egyptians for showing Egyptians murdering Jews.
“We really wanted to give the movie the right permission to be displayed in cinemas, as we support freedom of expression, however, this permission might help spread these kinds of wrong thoughts and fallacies to new generations, killing Egyptian history as a whole,” the ministry committee tasked with writing the report said.
Though many in Egypt have supported the government’s decision to ban “Exodus,” at least a few viewed the ban as harming the country’s freedom of expression, even if they did not agree with the alleged content of the movie itself.
“Banning the film will not ban Egyptians from seeing the movie or even affect them,” said author Youssef Qaeed in comments to ONTV Saturday. “Despite the fact I’m against all Zionist attempts, I wish we would allow the movie to be displayed and then replayed with another similar project using the same methods.”