Sunni Muslims Oppose Showing of Gibson's "Passion," Shi'ites Want it Shown

March 29, 2004

Source: Middle East Online


On March 29, 2004 Middle East Online reported, "Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" has stirred a religious controversy in Kuwait between majority Sunni Muslims who oppose the movie and the emirate's Shiite Muslims who call for showing it. The authorities, meanwhile, have not decided either way. The dean of the local Islamic college, Mohammad al-Tabtabai, said in a fatwa, or religious edict, Monday that parts of the controversial movie contradict the Muslim faith, in addition to its depiction of Jesus. Tabtabai went so far as to outlaw the film's screening by any Muslim country and prohibited Muslims from watching it, saying anyone who has seen the movie must 'repent.' But the emirate's leading Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Muhri said there was nothing wrong in showing the film and called on the authorities to approve it. 'It's a good opportunity to reveal the crimes committed by Jews against the Christ and many other (religious) prophets,' Muhri said. 'We sincerely respect the Jewish religion and Jews, but not the Jewish Zionists, and we believe in Jesus and Moses like we believe in our own prophet,' he added."