Roland Emmerich, the director of the upcoming worldwide disaster movie ‘2012’, in which quite a few land marks are obliterated, decided against destroying the Kaaba on screen. He demurred for fear of drawing a fatwa and thus getting killed by a Muslim fanatic.
The Kaaba is a cube shaped structure in the middle of the Grand Mosque in Mecca around which Muslims who are on the hadj circle seven times. The Kaaba is considered one of the most sacred sites in all of Islam.
Roland Emmerich must be mindful about what happened to the Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh. Van Gogh was stabbed to death by a Muslim for a film he made attacking and ridiculing Islam. In Van Gogh’s defense, he had made films attacking and ridiculing just about every other religion.
Roland Emmerich has trashed entire cities in his films, including ‘Independence Day’, ‘Godzilla’, and ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’ In ‘2012’ Emmerich will destroy St. Peters Basilica in Rome and the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. But it seems that whereas Christian sites are fair game, Islamic sites seem to be sacrosanct.
The reason for that is that Christians tend not to try to kill people for belittling their religion. There is something about forgiving those who trespass in Christian scriptures.
To be fair, most Muslims are not inspired to kill people who they feel is attacking their religion. But some do and it only takes one to end the career of a film maker who has roused the ire of Muslims, be he an independent like Theo Van Gogh, or a purveyor of cheesy blockbusters like Roland Emmerich.
There is also the question of what looks good on the screen. It is hard to make a big, black cube being destroyed look impressive, unless it is flying through space and is filled with Borg.
There are some very impressive looking mosques in the Muslim world that would look very impressive being destroyed. One might choose the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, where a huge rock is suspended from a chain from the spot the Koran says Mohamed departed from on a trip to Heaven.
One could easily imagine minarets toppling as the call to prayer is sounded. The rock of the Dome of the Rock detaches from its chain and rolls around, crushing worshipers, as the ceiling falls in, finishing them off.
And, in much the same sequence, one could take care of the Western Wall of the Great Temple, thus being even handed in religious sites being trashed. That really would be edgy, pushing the envelope film making.
Source: Emmerich reveals fear of fatwa axed 2012 scene, Ben Child, Guardian, November 3rd, 2009