Russell Crowe’s upcoming flick Noah has been banned in the UAE because of “scenes that contradict Islam and the Bible”, according to Juma Al-Leem, the director of media content at the National Media Center in the United Arab Emirates. Al-Leem added, “It is important to respect these religions and not show the film.”

russell crowe noahNoah has been banned in the United Arab Emirates

Noah isn’t the first movie to be banned on religious grounds, but is it as subversive as some of these other movies that didn’t make the religious cut?

Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was intense, to say the least. Arguably anti-Semitic, graphic scenes of Christ’s torture led the Malaysian government to ban the movie...unless you’re a Christian, in which case it’s cool and you can see it as many times as you like. Yeah, we don’t really understand that one, either. Oddly the movie wasn’t banned in Israel, although it was boycotted and ultimately wasn’t shown.

Brokeback Mountain certainly rattled a few cages when it came out back in 2005. Religious types as a rule aren’t big fans of the whole homosexuality thing, and Brokeback Mountain was banned in the United Arab Emirates. There was plenty of hubbub in the States over the release of the movie, but democracy and rationale won out and we all got to watch Heath and Jake get it on in a tent.

It turns out that The Matrix didn’t go down too well with religious groups either, who saw it as an attempt to undermine God’s creation. Egypt were the least happy about the movie which centred on the premise that we all lived in a simulated reality/giant HTML code and banned the movie from its cinemas.

For non-religious folks out there Bruce Almighty is a light laugh, just a smorgasbord of silliness. Islamic groups disagree and claim that the movie presents God as an ordinary man, which is offensive and led to the movie being banned in Egypt and Malaysia.

monty python movies bannedThe Monty Python team can't have been too surprised when Life of Brian was banned

Last, but certainly not least, the original banned religious movie. “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!” Unsurprisingly, Monty Python’s Life of Brian was not received well by religious groups when it came out in 1979. The movie is a jovial look at the life of Brian, a mere mortal who is mistakenly identified as the Messiah. Religious groups alleged that the film undermined the suffering of Christ, and was subsequently banned in various cinemas in Britain, as well as several other countries. Sweden cheekily marketed Life of Brian as “The film so funny that it was banned in Norway.” Oh, Sweden.

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Watch the trailer for Noah: