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» 04/05/2004
Malaysian Muslims offended by "The Passion"

Archbishop asks for a revision  of the ban

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Ucan) – "The Passion of the Christ" has been barred from cinemas and churches due to "religious sensitivities". The Malaysian Film Censorship Board has restricted the film in the primarily Muslim country. Chow Will Pin, managing director of 20th Century Fox, said that the film was censored without being viewed by the authorities, saying he knew "whether we submitted the print  (of the film) or not, the guidelines remained."  The censorship code in the country bans depictions of prophets in films. Husnita Ismail, an avid movie-goer, explained, saying, "To us Muslims, Jesus is a prophet. While the Christians believe that he was crucified, we believe that God saved him from crucifixion and death. So this movie offends us."  A spokesman for a leading cinema chain, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that the same rule barring "The Passion" prevented the animated film "Prince of Egypt" to be screened. That film was about Moses, known as Prophet Musa to Muslims.

Though it has been turned down from cinemas, pirated DVD's and video CDs of the movie are turning up on the street, selling for as little as 8 ringgit (US 2.10 dollars) on the black market.

Aloysious Pinto, the vice president of the Christian Renewal Society in Malaysia has voiced his disagreement with the censorship board's reported stand. "This is a Christian film. It helps people grow in their faith. It should not be viewed as entertainment, but more as faith education." He further stated that since the film has been banned, many are buying pirated copies, "which is against our teaching."   The Secretary general of National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia, Reverend Wong Kim, agreed, saying that a movie should not be banned unless it portrays a deplorable or inaccurate picture of a prophet, and that the government, "should consider the sentiments and feelings of a particular religious community" that is closely tied with the film, in this case, Christians. The Catholic Archbishop Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur, shared his view, and expressed the desire for a reversal of the decision to ban the film which has sparked religious renewal all over the world. "We agree with Reverend Wong on the need for tolerance, and we request that the authorities reconsider their decision and allow the screening of the film."

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See also
03/29/2004 philippines
Archbishop Rosales: "Watch 'The Passion!'"
04/06/2004 south korea
"The Passion" welcomed by Protestants and Catholics
07/26/2004 MALAYSIA
"The Passion of the Christ" for Christians-only viewing
03/20/2004 ITALY
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
05/22/2009 UZBEKISTAN
Bible and Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ banned in Uzbek region of Karakalpakstan
"The Passion: A Great Instrument For Mission Work"
Viewers react to " Passion of the Christ"
Gibson's film inspires passionate interest in Aramaic
Passion of the Christ raises questions among Buddhist audiences
'Passion' opens despite Islamic objections
Gibson's "Passion" appreciated by Hindus, seen as antidote to fundamentalism
"The Passion" : Movie theaters booked by churches inviting non-Christians
After seeing "The Passion" Muslims start searching for the Gospel
'The Passion of the Christ': "A milestone in the cinema history"
south korea
"The Passion" welcomed by Protestants and Catholics
"The Passion of the Christ" resounding success as moviegoers search for traces of anti-Semitism
"The Passion of the Christ" wins over non-Catholic youth
Pirated copies of "The Passion" used to evangelize
Archbishop Rosales: "Watch 'The Passion!'"
Gibson's "Passion" arrives in the Middle East
islam - christianity
Islam and Jesus: almost a "love affair" (profile)
lebanon - islam
"Issa's" (Jesus's) crucifix fascinates today's Islamic intellectuals
Jim Caviezel: Under the make-up, a man of Faith
Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir says Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic
Bishops impressed by "The Passion": "Mel Gibson is like Mother Teresa"

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