As you may or may not hear, movie theatres across America this weekend are premiering the movie, “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe. Several of my Muslim friends and colleagues have expressed interest and excitement about the movie and their desire to attend a showing of the film. Therefore, I felt it necessary to implore us to show restraint and not waste our time watching it. As Muslims, we should abhor that Hollywood or any entity would produce a movie depicting a Prophet.
1. Why are only the Prophet Muhammad Images Offensive?
We often get desensitized, especially those of us living in the West, when it comes to making images of the prophets since we see so many portraits of Jesus everywhere we go. Nevertheless, we should firmly be against the imaging of any of our Islamic Prophets. Many of us get up in arms when others portray our Prophet Muhammad in a cartoon, but don’t blink an eye if any of our other beloved prophets are depicted. Before you say that cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad are meant to be offensive while other images are not, just think about the outrage caused by Maajid Nawaz with his cartoon in England back in January. As Muslims, we rightfully should be offended when anyone depicts our Prophet Muhammad whether done to be offensive or not. What I’m also trying to advocate is that, as Muslims, we should similar be offended when others depict other prophets as well, including but not limited to Prophets Eesa and Nuh .
2. Russell Crowe has nothing on Prophet Nuh
Another problematic aspect of the movie includes the role played by Russell Crowe. As Muslims, we honestly don’t know too much about what Prophet Nuh looked like. However, if we watch this movie, we will start to intertwine the character played by Russell Crowe, looks included, into our imagination of Prophet Nuh . Russell Crowe has nothing on Prophet Nuh , so let’s not give him the opportunity to represent him in our minds.
The producer of the movie “Noah,” a self-professed atheist, according to the Washington Times, says he is proud of the fact that he’s taken a story inspired by God’s word and turned it into something so secular.
3. Don’t want to mess up my Reading of Surah Nuh
By sitting through a two hour movie specifically about one of the greatest human beings in history, our subconscious may start to associate the props in the movie (the clothes, the bad guys, the language) as all being part of the story of our beloved prophet.
Even if we fight the urge, our subconscious may start thinking of Russell Crowe’s version of Prophet Nuh when we are reciting the verses regarding the flood in the Quran.
As Muslims, we should firmly restrain ourselves from showing support for the “Noah” movie. Many conservative Christian groups have already expressed concerns regarding the movie. Paramount Pictures has admitted it took some “artistic license” in producing the movie. Several Muslim countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have already banned the movie (source).
O Muslim, won’t you also abstain from watching “Noah”?
Art by Zohayma Montaner