First Published: 2003-11-06

'Bruce Almighty' banned in Egypt

Egyptian censors ban US comic hit 'Bruce Almighty' for undermining Muslim and other religious values.


Middle East Online

The film harms all religions, says director of artistic censorship

CAIRO - The Egyptian authorities have banned the US box office comic hit "Bruce Almighty" for undermining Muslim and other religious values.

The director of artistic censorship, Madkour Thabet, said the American film "Bruce Almighty" was banned because "it harms the Almighty by daring to have him incarnated by an actor."

The film "harms all religions and not a particular religion when an actor plays the role of God," he added.

The movie's distributors can still appeal the ban to a culture ministry committee.

In the movie, a television reporter played by star Jim Carrey who is unhappy with life is given divine powers and challenged by God to do a better job of running the world after he angrily ridicules and rages against Him.

One scene shows Carrey parting his tomato soup, emulating God who parted the Red Sea to allow Moses - who is sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike - to flee Egypt with the Jews.

Several Jordanian MPs on Sunday urged the government to take to task those responsible for allowing movie theaters to screen the comedy, though some scenes, such as the parting of the Red Sea, were cut.

The Hollywood science fiction hit movie "Matrix Reloaded" was banned earlier this year in Egypt for threatening to offend traditional religious views on the creation of humankind.

Meanwhile, Thabet asked Al Azhar, the main authority for Sunni Muslims around the world, to give its green light to screen the film "The Message" about the life of the prophet Mohamed, banned here since 1981.

The censorship committee asks the advice of Azhar about films with religious content.

The film was produced in 1981 by Syrian-American Mustapha al-Akkad, with an English version starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas as well as an Arabic version.


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