Can Noah be banned for being un-Islamic?


(Nut Graph) – Will screening Noah jeopardise national security or friendly relations with other countries? Will it seriously endanger public order or public morality? Is it defamatory? Will it cause incitement to any offence?

AS Russell Crowe himself anticipated, the film Noah has been banned in Malaysia, where about 60% of the population are officially Muslim. The film portrays Noah, mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran, carrying out his God-given task of building a giant boat to save a sampling of humans and animals.

In citing reasons for the ban, Film Censorship Board chairperson Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid said it was “un-Islamic for anyone to act out any characters of a prophet”.

But can a movie be legally banned in Malaysia on the basis that it is un-Islamic? What is the appropriate criteria to apply when restricting freedom of expression, which is a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental liberty?

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