Three Arab countries have banned the Hollywood film Noah on religious grounds before its worldwide premiere and several others are expected to follow suit, a representative of producer Paramount Pictures said yesterday.

Islam frowns upon representing holy figures in art - depictions of the Prophet Mohammed in European and North American media have sparked deadly protests in Islamic countries over the last decade.

Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE have told Paramount the film, starring Russell Crowe, will not be released in their countries.

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