'Noah' barred by censors in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain

Associated Press
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FILE - This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Jennifer Connelly, left, and Russell Crowe in a scene from "Noah." After sparking controversy among conservative Christians in the U.S., officials across parts of the Muslim world say they do not expect the Hollywood film Noah will be shown in local theaters because it depicts a prophet and could offend cinemagoers. Director of media content at the National Media Center in the United Arab Emirates, Juma Al-Leem, told The Associated Press on Thursday, March 13, 2014 that the movie will not be allowed in cinemas because it contradicts a generally agreed upon taboo in Islam by depicting a prophet. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Niko Tavernise, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Officials say censors in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will ban the release of "Noah," the upcoming big-budget Hollywood film featuring Russell Crowe as the ark-building prophet.

Director of media content at the National Media Center in the UAE, Juma Al-Leem, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the movie will not be allowed in cinemas because it contradicts a generally agreed upon taboo in Islam of depicting a prophet.

Paramount Pictures told the AP that along with the UAE, censors in Qatar and Bahrain also have confirmed they will not release the film because it contradicts the teachings of Islam.

Officials in Pakistan and Tunisia say they doubt censors will approve the movie.

The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, will open March 28 in the U.S.