Thu, Apr 1, 2004 at 2:45:08 pm
Officials at Al Azhar acknowledged that they have long forbidden depictions of prophets — or even the voices of prophets — in movies, but they said they have no intention of opposing the decision of government censors to allow “The Passion” to be shown in its entirety.
“I encouraged the movie because it withholds from Jews their claims that they are innocent of the Christ’s blood,” said Mohiy el-Din Abdel Aleem, a professor of media and journalism at Al Azhar University, when asked why Al Azhar had not objected to the movie.
Sheikh Muhammad el-Rawy, a member of the Islamic Research Council, Al Azhar’s highest authority responsible for reviewing books and movies, said it would have been inappropriate to interfere with a movie that concerns the Christian faith.
“We do not accept the screening of prophets, but we cannot confiscate others’ beliefs,” he said. “We didn’t review this movie because it does not concern Muslims.”