Theaters screening ‘Noah’ should be ‘destroyed’: Azhar scholar
"Noah" poster - Photo courtesy of theguardian.com
By LOAY ALY and RAMY NAWWAR

CAIRO: Darren Aronofsky’s biblical 2014 movie titled “Noah,” scheduled for release in Egyptian theatres on March 26, is already raising controversy among religious scholars for its depiction of Prophet Noah. Many Islamic conservatives frown upon depicting prophets in art, with one religious scholar demanding that theaters screening the movie be “destroyed.”     

Mahmoud Mehanna, member of Al-Azhar’s Senior Scholars called on authorities to “destroy” any movie theatre that screens “Noah” and “not simply close it down,” in press statements on March 4.

Mehanna condemned the depiction of prophets in art, saying it was religiously forbidden, blasphemous, and would not be allowed by Al-Azhar.

“The Senior Scholars should call for an urgent meeting to discuss the matter and sue movie theatres because prophets, their voices, and even their shadows cannot be depicted … Prophets are holy people,” Mehanna told Youm7.

Sheikh Sameh Abdel Hameed, a member of the Salafi Call, condemned and refused the scheduled screening of “Noah” in Egypt.

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

Hameed told Youm7 that the Islamic Jurisprudence Congregation declared during its eighth round that depiction of prophets in paintings or movies was unlawful.

He added that depicting prophets in art was a “crime; not art, that is harmful to the image of prophets.”

“Depicting prophets opens the door for doubting the behavior of prophets … Actors cannot accurately mimic the behaviors, manners and appearances of prophets,” he claimed.

Originally published in Youm7. 

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