The Da Vinci Code affair is coming to the surface again with the imminent worldwide release of the movie. According to the Jordan Times today, Churches in Jordan are asking for it to be banned. The book is supposedly banned (but I am seeing it all over the place, even in an Arabic translation).
Jordan Times (Home News Section):On the subject of films that are not playing in Jordan: whatever happened to Syriana, Paradise Now and Munich? These are major films that have not been shown in our movie theaters.
“It is too early to decide whether we will allow the movie to be broadcast or not. We must first watch it,” said Sami Mahasneh, head of censorship department at the Higher Council for Censorship and Media.
“We do not know how the director handled the controversial issues in the novel. We cannot pass our judgement from what people say,” said Mahasneh.
The novel, which has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, was banned from sale in Jordan and Lebanon due to its controversial religious themes and rumours of conspiracy in the Vatican.
Mahasneh insists the movie will be handled like any other movie, despite an appeal from the Council of Churches, the Kingdom’s highest Christian body, to ban it from cinemas.
Mahasneh, however, pointed out that the government might “consult” top Christian religious figures before making a final decision.
“We respect Christians’ opinions and sensitivities, but the final decision is ours,” added Mahasneh.
Hanna Noor, secretary general of the Council of Churches urged the government to “respect the sensitivities of Christians’ feelings and take all necessary measures to ban the movie from theatres.
“The book was full of fabricated lies about Jesus,” said Noor. “The movie crosses all red lines as far as Jesus is concerned as it contradicts the teachings of the Bible and the Koran,” he added.
I know that Syriana was actually shown in Dubai (in a film festival as well as in theaters, where two minutes of the movie were cut):
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Clooney film cut by Gulf censors:Munich was shown in Dubai too.
George Clooney’s oil drama Syriana has premiered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with two minutes of film removed at the request of government censors.
Scenes showing mistreatment of Asian workers in the Gulf and references to a late Saudi king were among those cut.
I can’t recall any discussion of censorship of these movies in the press. They simply have not screened!