Darren Aronofsky's epic Noah starring Russell Crowe has been banned in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain because it could offend Muslims. The decision comes after the movie sparked controversy amongst Christians in the U.S, prompting Paramount Pictures to add a disclaimer to its marketing material, saying that "artistic license has been taken" in retelling the story of the great flood.

Noah Russell CroweRussell Crowe as 'Noah'

Now, the director of media content at the National Media Center in the United Arab Emirates, Juma Al-Leem told the Associated Press that the movie will not be allowed in cinemas because it contradicts a generally held taboo in Islam of depicting a prophet.

"There are scenes that contradict Islam and the Bible, so we decided not to show it," he said, "It is important to respect these religions and not show the film."

Al-Azhar in Egypt issued an edict saying it objects to Noah because it violates Islamic law by depicting a prophet and that it could "provoke the feelings of believers".

Watch the trailer for 'Noah':

The Quran mentions only 25 prophets by name, including Noah. Muslims believe that the religious figure - portrayed by Australian actor Crowe in the movie - built his ark after God charged him to do it as people in his community refused to worship God alone. 

Mohammed Zareef, an official with Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors, said the government body generally does not approve films that touch on religion, saying, "We haven't seen it yet, but I don't think it can go to cinemas in Pakistan."

Aronofsky's 'Noah' received mixed reviews when it was screened in Mexico City earlier this month.