Friday, April 30, 2004

NEWS FROM QATAR. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has been very successful in Qatar:
Gibson's movie proves big hit in Qatar (Middle East Online

"The Passion of the Christ" is close to breaking box office records in tiny gas-rich state of Qatar.

DOHA - Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ," now in its sixth week of screening here, is close to breaking box office records in Qatar, a movie industry executive said Thursday.

"Some 25,000 people have seen the movie so far, bringing it close to breaking the box office record of 30,000 viewers held by Titanic," Abdul Rahman Mohsen, director of the Qatar Cinema Company, said.

But the grounds for approving its showing are cause for some concern:
Prominent Qatar-based Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi has backed the showing of the movie, albeit only to adults, a stand which Mohsen said had contributed to its success.

Qaradawi has said Gibson's movie exposes "the Jews' crime in sending Jesus to be crucified ... although we (Muslims) believe he was not crucified."

Qaradawi said he was therefore in favor of screening the movie even though Muslims are normally against depicting prophets on screen.

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