“In order for
this movie to be made, our position is that the image of the prophet
(Jesus) not appear, for it would be impossible to find an actor who
could play him, no matter how perfect his work is,” prominent Muslim
leader Mohammed Habib told the EFE news agency.
suggested that filmmakers request authorization from Al Azhar, the most
prestigious institution of Sunni Islam, which issues judgments about
works of art that have to do with religion.
Bayumi, a member of the Academy of Islamic Studies of Al Azhar, said
the prophets cannot be portrayed “because that reduces their value in
the human imagination,” and he pointed to recent Al Azhar fatwas on the
issue. “Muslims hate seeing Jesus represented in human form and
especially if they show him in moments of weakness."
"Al Azhar has already given its opinion, and whoever does not respect it will have to answer to God,” Bayumi said.
of the film, Fayez Ghali, said Al Azhar “has nothing to do with my
film. That the depiction of the prophets is forbidden is an issue
for our Muslim brothers, not for me.” “I am following my Orthodox
Christian teaching. No human being ought to prohibit the movie,
whether it’s Al Azhar, the church or even the state,” he added.
He also said
that preventing the film “would be a historic catastrophe, as it would
be understood as an imposition of their power on the Church.”
Ghali argued that those seeking the approval of Al Azhar for his film
“are radicals who are playing with fire.”
While Ghali said
he was not opposed to having a Muslim play the role of Christ, the
film’s producer, Mohammed Uchub, who is Muslim, said he would impose
the sole condition that the role be given to an unknown Christian
are expressing their opposition to plans by an Egyptian Orthodox
Christian to make the first movie in Arabic about Jesus, who Islam
considers to be a prophet. They argue that it would be a violation of
their faith, which prohibits depictions of Allah and the prophets.