Exodus, Ridley Scott’s epic retelling of the story of Moses, will not be released in the United Arab Emirates after censors in the country objected to what they described as historical and religious inaccuracies. The move follows on from similar decisions in Egypt and Morocco.
“We found that there are many mistakes not only about Islam but other religions too. So, we will not release it in the UAE,” Juma Obeid Al Leem, the director of Media Content Tracking at the National Media Council, was quoted as saying in local newspaper Gulf News.
It is generally prohibited to depict prophets and religious figures in Islamic, societies. Those laws saw Darren Aronofsky’s Noah banned across large swathes of the Arab world in March this year. At the time, the Egypt-based Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s highest authority, criticized Aronofsky’s film.
Exodus now appears likely to suffer a similar fate.
Ironically, the film is set in Egypt- albeit in Ancient times- and parts of it were shot in Morocco.
In recent weeks, Exodus has been criticised in some circles for choosing overwhelmingly white actors to play Middle Eastern roles as well as Scott’s decision to have God voiced by an 11-year-old boy.