Report: Egypt Bans 'Exodus' for Claiming Jews Built the Pyramids

Head of Egypt's censorship board says movie has 'historical inaccuracies'; similar bans in Morocco and UAE.

The new Hollywood blockbuster "Exodus: Gods and Kings" has been slammed for allegedly racist casting, and has received lukewarm reviews. Now, to top it all off, it has reportedly been banned in Egypt for "historical inaccuracies."

According to a BBC report, the head of Egypt's censorship board said that these inaccuracies include the depiction of the Jews having built the pyramids. It also includes showing the Red Sea being parted by Moses, played by Christian Bale. According to the censor, this was really caused by an earthquake. 

In the biblical book of Exodus, the Jews build the pyramids as slaves in Ancient Egypt, and are led to freedom by Moses after God brings a number of plagues on Egypt.

There are also reports that the film, directed by Ridley Scott, has been banned in Morocco, the BBC said. Officials decided to ban the film one day before its premiere, according to Moroccan business site Medias24.com.

According to AFP, Morocco may have decided not to screen the film because Muslims believe Moses is a prophet, and should therefore not be portrayed on screen.  

United Arab Emirates has also followed suit, according to Deadline.com. The movie will not be released there over what censors said were historical and religious inaccuracies. “We found that there are many mistakes not only about Islam but other religions too. So, we will not release it in the UAE,” Deadline.com cited Juma Obeid Al Leem, the director of Media Content Tracking at the National Media Council, as telling Gulf News. 

"Exodus: Gods and Kings" made $24.5 million on its debut weekend, and cost a reported $140 million to make, the BBC said.  

The studio owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc declined to give a reason Friday for Egypt's ban, but films that depict biblical figures have been prohibited before in the Muslim country. Paramount Pictures’ Bible tale “Noah” was banned in several countries in the Middle East this year for its depiction of a prophet, which is forbidden in Islam.

The film’s ban comes as Sony Pictures faced a devastating cyberattack blamed on North Korea for “The Interview,” a raunchy comedy that depicts a fictional plot to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.