UAE joins group banning ‘Exodus’
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UAE joins group banning ‘Exodus’

Official says biblical epic has ‘many mistakes not only about Islam but other religions too’

Christian Bale as a militant Moses in Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' (photo credit: Courtesy 20th Century Fox)
Christian Bale as a militant Moses in Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' (photo credit: Courtesy 20th Century Fox)

The United Arab Emirates decided over the weekend to bar the release of Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” due to “mistakes” in the adaptation of the biblical account.

The move comes after Morocco and Egypt banned the film, the former due to the representation of God in human form, the latter for its “Zionist” account of history.

Juma Obeid Al Leem, the director of Media Content Tracking at the National Media Council in the UAE, said the decision was reached after officials viewed the film and found it to be an inaccurate adaptation of the biblical tale.

“This movie is under our review and we found that there are many mistakes not only about Islam but other religions too. So, we will not release it in the UAE,” he said, according to Gulf News.

Morocco banned the film on the flight of the Jews from ancient Egypt because it “represents God,” which is forbidden under Islam, its distributor said Saturday.

The distributor said it had received written notice that Ridley Scott’s blockbuster contained a scene that represents God in the form of a “child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses.”

Initially, cinema owners were informed verbally that the film had been banned, media reports had said.

“I deplore this censorship,” distributor Mounia Layadi Benkirane said in a statement to AFP.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, has also banned the movie, citing “historical inaccuracies.”

Egypt’s Culture Minister Gaber Asfour told AFP Ridley Scott’s blockbuster was rife with mistakes, including an apparent claim that “Moses and the Jews built the pyramids.”

“This totally contradicts proven historical facts,” Asfour said. “It is a Zionist film,” he said. “It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies and that’s why we have decided to ban it.”

Egypt’s ban was decided by a committee comprising the head of the supreme council for culture, Mohammed Afifi, the head of the censorship committee and two history professors, said Asfour. Afifi said he took issue with the scene showing the parting of the Red Sea in which Moses — a prophet revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike — is seen holding a “sword” like a warrior, instead of a “stick.”

Furthermore, he said, the parting of the Red Sea is explained in the movie as a “tidal phenomenon” rather than a divine miracle.

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