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Posted on Sunday, June 04 - 2006

On May 19 The Da Vinci Code, with all its controversy, was released to theaters worldwide. Middle Eastern countries, however, have been quick to pull the plug on the film. In Egypt, the film based on Dan Brown's international bestseller did not make it to its planned release on May 23, as censors did not give the go ahead. Many in the country speculate that the reason behind this decision is that the government does not want to upset the Coptic population following incidents of sectarian strife and violence over the past year. "It isn't going to beshown here because they are afraid the Christians will get upset and say it is the conspiracy by the Muslims and the government," says Joseph Fahim, a Cairo film critic.

"But, according to the reviews from Cannes, the film isn't very good anyway, so we shouldn't be too upset." Coptic Christians, the remnants of the first Christian church in history, make up approximately 10 percent of the population in Egypt. According to a statement released by Jordan, Egypt's neighbor, which has also banned the film, the film "tarnishes the memory of Christian and Islamic figures and contradicts the truth as written in the Bible and the Koran about Jesus". Thefilm is a fictional portrayal that speculates that Jesus did not die on the cross, but instead married Mary Magdalene and that their descendants exist in secret up to this day. Following a murder in the Louvre, the story takes the viewer on a whirlwind tour through ancient secrets that unfold to reveal that Christ's heirs still survive. It is a fictitious account of what could have been.

user posted image View: Full Article | Source: Middle East Times

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