The Da Vinci Code affair is coming to the surface again with the imminent worldwide release of the movie. According to the Jordan Times today, Churches in Jordan are asking for it to be banned. The book is supposedly banned (but I am seeing it all over the place, even in an Arabic translation).
Jordan Times (Home News Section): â€œIt is too early to decide whether we will allow the movie to be broadcast or not. We must first watch it,â€ said Sami Mahasneh, head of censorship department at the Higher Council for Censorship and Media.
â€œWe do not know how the director handled the controversial issues in the novel. We cannot pass our judgement from what people say,â€ said Mahasneh.
The novel, which has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, was banned from sale in Jordan and Lebanon due to its controversial religious themes and rumours of conspiracy in the Vatican.
Mahasneh insists the movie will be handled like any other movie, despite an appeal from the Council of Churches, the Kingdomâ€™s highest Christian body, to ban it from cinemas.
Mahasneh, however, pointed out that the government might â€œconsultâ€ top Christian religious figures before making a final decision.
â€œWe respect Christiansâ€™ opinions and sensitivities, but the final decision is ours,â€ added Mahasneh.
Hanna Noor, secretary general of the Council of Churches urged the government to â€œrespect the sensitivities of Christiansâ€™ feelings and take all necessary measures to ban the movie from theatres.
â€œThe book was full of fabricated lies about Jesus,â€ said Noor. â€œThe movie crosses all red lines as far as Jesus is concerned as it contradicts the teachings of the Bible and the Koran,â€ he added.
On the subject of films that are not playing in Jordan: whatever happened to Syriana, Paradise Now and Munich? These are major films that have not been shown in our movie theaters.
I know that Syriana was actually shown in Dubai (in a film festival as well as in theaters, where two minutes of the movie were cut):
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Clooney film cut by Gulf censors: George Clooney’s oil drama Syriana has premiered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with two minutes of film removed at the request of government censors.
Scenes showing mistreatment of Asian workers in the Gulf and references to a late Saudi king were among those cut.
Munich was shown in Dubai too.
I can’t recall any discussion of censorship of these movies in the press. They simply have not screened!
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