Oman approves screening Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”

MUSCAT (AFP) – Mel Gibson’s controversial film “The Passion of the Christ” is to make its debut in Oman, the marketing manager of the Oman Arab Cinema Co. said.

“The censorship board has already given a go-ahead and we are all set to show the blockbuster at our Shatti Al-Plaza” cinema complex on April 14, Natasha Sawhney told AFP Monday.

As in many other countries, the movie has already broken box office records in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, where it hit the big screen last month.

The Gulf state of Qatar also gave the film the green light but Bahrain has banned it on the grounds that it violates Islamic law, which prohibits depicting the prophets. Jesus is revered by Muslims as one of their most important prophets.

In Kuwait, the authorities have still not decided whether to ban the movie, which has stirred up a religious controversy between the emirate’s Sunni Muslims, who oppose it, and Shiite Muslims, who call for showing it.

The movie, which depicts the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ in graphic and brutal detail, has drawn a storm of criticism as it reaches cinemas worldwide after debuting in the United States.

Gibson’s film, shot in Latin and Aramaic and using little-known actors, has been a huge box office hit in North America.

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