No Islamic Holy Sites Destroyed in 2012 Movie, Fear of Fatwa

Thursday, November 5, AD 2009

Grand Mosque of Mecca

Due to the fear of a death threat in the form of a fatwa from Muslim scholars, movie director Roland Emmerich chose not to shoot any scenes depicting the destruction of Islamic holy sites in his new end-of-the-world film, 2012.  Though Roland Emmerich says this did not stop him when filming scenes depicting the destruction of Christian landmarks such as the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica, and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.  He wanted to make sure his views of opposition to “organized religion” were not soft-pedaled in the movie 2012.

Of course, “organized religion” is a euphemism for the apostolic churches of the Catholic and Orthodox faiths.  Hence why you’ll see the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica topple over in the 2012 film and not the Ka’aba inside the Grand Mosque of Mecca collapse.

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54 Responses to No Islamic Holy Sites Destroyed in 2012 Movie, Fear of Fatwa

  • They wont show any Jewish holy sites going up in smoke either.

  • I understand your frustration, but things are not exactly how you have presented. Hollywood doesn’t miss an opportunity or is hardly reluctant in its oft ill portrayal of Muslims as terrorists hell bent on destroying the world more than it does to any other organised religion.

    Hollywood as an industry works on what is normal, acceptable and what will sell. It will produce a movie like Bruno which may have offended some groups of poeple but whilst doing so, they ensure they stay just within what is acceptable by general public. Likewise, when it comes to Muslims it assesses what will sell based on what is acceptable. In the Muslim world certain things to do with thier faith are not acceptable, its not just a case of poeple being offended and rioting but potential ban on the movie by the muslim governments.

    We can’t imagine a movie showing destruction of kaba or acting the role of the Prophet being produced let alone shown anywhere in the Muslim world. Can we say the same about the Christian world? Britian and America as Christian countries have never been reluctant to or fear any backlash in what maybe called abuse of sacred religious aspects in the name of art, film, drama? The people have become desensatised and just don’t care anymore even if it is Jesus being shown as a fornicator. Surely you can’t blame the Muslims for this?

  • What caught my eye about Mr. Emmerich is that he openly admitted that he was afraid for his life and it wasn’t worth it to depict an Islamic holy site being destroyed.

    But still wimpy.

  • Salman,

    I’d have to disagree with you there.

    Christians don’t go out and destroy property and issue death threats AND carry them out.

    And no Christian government, if there existed one in the 20th or 21st century has banned a film that offended Christians.

  • Salman,

    On your point of Hollywood portraying Islam in a negative light, it has not been explicitly done. But they have done so implicitly such in the movie True Lies and in the tv miniseries 24.

    Though they were depictions of individual Muslims in general and not Islamic holy sites or Muhammad in particular.

  • Hollywood doesn’t miss an opportunity or is hardly reluctant in its oft ill portrayal of Muslims as terrorists hell bent on destroying the world more than it does to any other organised religion.

    As John McEnroe would say, you cannot be serious. No better example of the ridiculous pc atmosphere is the move version of Sum of All Fears, where the evil villains went from Muslims in the book to white skinheads in the film. The bad guys on 24 are almost always some shadowy, white-led corporation. Whenever there are Islamic bad guys, it’s usually revealed that some pucker-faced white dude is the guy pulling the strings.

  • The very real silver lining: it’s a backhanded but genuine compliment to the overwhelmingly civilized behavior of Catholics.

  • Interesting article. As for Emmerich, it took guts to say that, assuming he meant it as an accusation. If he meant it as a warning to fellow Westerners not to rock the boat, it’s pathetic.

  • I look at this as – we must be doing something right! I can care less that hollywood has a bias – it has and always will. The movies that do talk truth will be the ones I go to see. I saw th previews to this and thought 2012 and thought here we go again. I am sure the twist at the end will be that we as humans didn’t enough to stop global warming and that we should have slowed our population down enough to reduce our carbon signature. If only we ate less meat this wouldn’t have happened. Sheesh…

  • I think you are reading too much into the supposed ‘anti-Christian’ content of this movie. While scared sites do meet destruction, the movie is, after all, about the End of the World. We would expect sites like these to be destroyed, as part of the movie’s theme, and also for general ‘shock value’.

    I do agree that his declaration about Muslim holy sites is cowardly, but he, at least, admits it.

  • NauticaMongoose,

    Its under the surface.

    Their bias comes out that they can do this to Christian holy sites with impunity unlike Muslim holy sites.

  • The fact that taco stands being destroyed was not actually depicted in the movie is sheer proof that the movie maker harbors great respect, if not, great fear of Tito Taco Man, who might have issued a fatwa against him!

    Fear the Taco Man; fear Tito!

  • e.,

    I used to own and operate a taco stand.

    You know my feelings very well!

  • I really don’t understand how the dome of St. Peter’s is able to fall to its side and roll all the way out into the square to crush the masses of people gathered there… I mean, it’s a *long* way from the dome to the front of the church!

  • Maybe there’s some kind of time/space distortion in Hollywood that fundamentally alters the laws of physics there?

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  • “Calling director Emmerich a “coward,” a blogger for The American Catholic writes, “This is just another example of Hollywood picking on us Christians. ‘Us’ Christians call this behavior bigotry in the form of Christophobia. More commonly known as anti-Christian or more specifically anti-Catholicism in the case of this film.” The blogger goes on to note that Emmerich was concerned about having a fatwa (essentially a Muslim death threat) on his head.”


    Tito Taco just expanded his taco stand.


  • @ Tito :

    We, Muslim also accept that Jesus( Peace Be Upon Him ) was a Prophet of God and I would like to inform you that Islam equally forbids depiction of Jesus or David or Moses or any other Prophet in any form. I would also like to inform you that movies that are offending to Christians like The Da Vinci Code were not allowed to be screened in Pakistan and Iran which are Muslim States ….
    About the fact that no Christian state has banned such a movie is not our problem …. its up to the Christians to raise their voice and ask their Governments to Ban such films. If your leaders are don’t care about it, what can ‘we’ the Muslims do ??
    Just look around and see what resources the Christians have … you are a hundred times ahead then Muslims in many aspects consider Education, Electronic Media, Technology, Research and Development, etc etc …. yet with all those advantages if you cant make your point clear … its a pity ….

  • Osama,

    I understand what you are saying. Christians appreciate the fact that Pakistan and Iran banned the film as well as other Maghreb and south Asian.

    We do protest in a civilized manner via all of our resources.

    We live in a civilized society that allows for dissent in a peaceful manner. At most we will organize marches and demonstrations but we will not resort to violence.

    After those steps are procured and Hollywood still insists, and does so, in distributing such blasphemous films then we have done what we could and it is in the hands our Father after that.

    So we execute our final step of prayer, prayer, and more prayer.

    This is the mystery of iniquity that will be revealed to us in the last days. But until that happens we completely place our trust in Him with abiding joy and love.

    Thank you for engaging in this dialogue and hope you return again in the future when our paths cross again.

    After all we are sons of Abraham via Noah descended from Adam and are brothers in God.


  • I do agree with most of the comments above.

    Hollywood is just a business. They will produce movies they think people want to see, hoping to make a profit.

    If we do not agree with what is shown ( and – or not shown) in a particular movie, we can decide not to support it. Money walks. No money, no movies.

    In the light of Emmerich’s decision to show the destruction of Holy Christian symbols in 2012, I have decided to not see this movie. I will also tell my family & friends about it so that they can decide for themselves if they will support that movie or not.

  • Hi Osama and Salman, your comments are welcomed, we need more such voices and louder to make a fruitfull and meaningfull dialaogues. After all, as Tito says, we are brothers in God.

  • As it appears some of our commenters are not accustomed to the American system I think it needs to be pointed out that although the U.S. has a majority Christian population and was founded on principles that stemmed from Christian thought, it is a secular, not a Christian state. There is no “official” faith singled out for special protection. While this may result in some extremely distasteful things being said, published, filmed, and televised, it’s necessary to recognize that the same freedom that allows Hollywood filmmakers to wallow in anti-Christian images allows Christians and everybody else to freely discuss and advocate for their beliefs. We are wary of bans even when the lack thereof allows offensive speech and images; when you start banning the communication of certain ideas it tends to become that much easier to ban all the others, your own included.

    But this isn’t about official bans or what Christians should do to get more respect from the film industry; it’s about a climate of fear that silences any discussion of Islam, reasoned or otherwise, that subjects it to the same scrutiny as any other belief system. It’s a fear that the laws that are supposed to preserve our freedom of speech are insufficient to protect us against the lawless.

    That is what is most troubling–that a filmmaker so accustomed to saying what he likes that he thinks nothing of showing images that disturb or offend the majority of his audience can be so completely cowed by a violent minority that he will not speak up even when he might have something important to say.

    Theo Van Gogh spoke up, and paid for it with his life. It appears few of his colleagues are willing to exercise that freedom if it puts their necks on the line. Give Emmerich credit for at least acknowledging that.

  • Interesting. He hates “organized religion” but for some reason makes sure that those who practice Islam survive the end of the world in his movie “2012”

    His irrational hatred of Christianity and Catholicism in particular, winds up with him making the largest pro-Islamic propaganda film in the history of mankind – despite him hating “organized religion” – the message of the movie is clear: If you wish to survive the end of the world, you got to join Islam.

    Very nice. Way to go.

    Irrational bigotry always leads to irrational consequences.

  • Osama —

    Jesus was/is not a PROPHET, he is God incarnate. I am sorry but your religion is a counterfeit that has some of the characteristics of the true faith — just twisted ever so slightly into something that is profoundly untrue. Please accept Christ for who he is and save yourself while you may still have time.

  • I saw this movie today, at hubby’s insistence. Don’t waste your time or money on it. Yeah, the special effects are great but the plot and acting are pretty lame, and laughably so at times, plus the movie goes on WAY too long.

    If this is “the largest pro-Islamic propaganda film in the history of mankind,” I hardly noticed, probably because I was too busy snickering at all the over-the-top escapes and disaster flick cliches 🙂

  • Also, it seems to me that the religion(s) to join if you want to survive the end of the world in this movie would be either Buddhism or (SPOILER ALERT) any religion practiced in Africa, which actually does have a lot of Catholics as well as Muslims and adherents of native faiths.

  • Ronald did it again. This movie, 2012, looks awesome. I don’t think I can wait until it comes out. The trailor is mind blowing. Finally a film to spark the imagination.

  • This is so pathetic. It seems to me you’re more upset that Islamic holy sites were not destroyed in the movie. The simple fact of the matter is that Hollywood is run by Jews. That’s not an uncharitable statement. I wonder why you chose not to insist that the Wailing Wall was not destroyed as well? The demonization and degradation of Christianity and Islam by Jewish fanatics is nothing new. Yet where are the Christians when it comes to making their voices heard?
    Tito also makes some atrocious fallacies in his condescending statements. Civilized? My friend, westerners have and still are amongst the most violent and genocidal people in human history. Babbling about fatwas while going around the world invading countries and slaughtering millions based on a pack of lies? Hypocrisy and bad comedy at its best.
    Pick up a history book sometime.

  • Unimpressed,

    Straw man arguments all around.

    So much straw I could start a bon fire.

    As far as your statements are concerned:

    1. I am pointing out that Hollywood remains largely anti-Christian, more specifically, anti-Catholic.

    In the context of the film and the statements made by the director it is clearly evident that his hatred for Catholicism.

    2. Genocides? You’re referring to “Westerners”, I am defending the Catholic faith.

    There is a stark difference. Remember the first genocide was done by the Turkish Muslims when they eliminated 1.5 million Armenian Christians in the late 19th and early 20th century.

    Are they “Western”?

  • “Babbling about fatwas while going around the world invading countries and slaughtering millions”

    Actually that is not a bad summary of the history of Islamic imperialism. Of course it ignores the positive aspects of Islamic culture as you ignore the positive aspects of the history of Jews and Christians.

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  • Hmmm … you mean the Ku Klux Klan does not terrorize in the name of Christ? Obviously Muslims are very serious about their faith. Perhaps Christians should be as devoted to theirs?

  • Bernice,

    Know your history or don’t say anything at all.

    The KKK equally hated Catholics as much as blacks.

    Catholic churches were bombed and Catholics were terrorized in general.

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  • you say “What? You thought it was a recent phenomenon? Muslims have been waging war against non-Muslims since Mohammad started their religion, but that’s for another day).” so you totally ignore that All non-muslims started wars against Muslims ,also at current time ,whose countries are invaded and destroyed ? Iraq,Afghanistan ,Egypt was occuppied by british christians ,Somalia by France ,Algeria was occupied for 300 year ,about 3 Million Muslims were killed there in genocide by Frensh Christians ,Italy is no Different it Invaded Lybia ,need more ?

  • Ahmed,

    The Middle East was Christian for 600 years before Muhammad arrived.

    Get your facts straight before spouting off nonsense.

  • Hi, Tito,

    To put the record straight, the part of Arabia where Muhammed(pbuh) was born, had just a sprinkling of Christians but a had a number of tribes who were Jews.
    And regarding persecution, The number of practising Coptic Christians in Middle East shows that they were allowed the freedom of choosing and practising their religion.

  • Ragsayed,

    The number of practicing Copts used to be over 90% of the population.

    Years of persecution have whittled their numbers down to 10%.

  • Hi Tito,

    U have got it wrong the practising copts were abt 15% only , the other were worshippers of different Gods like Laat, Uzza, Mannat etc. Wouldn’t it be fair to say that , each major religion had some or the other leader who perpetuated atrocities in name of religion. If u talk abt Turkey then u also have to remember that after 600 yrs of rule when the christians conquered Spain all the muslims were slain there too.

    I am not justifying any of the genocides but just want to make clear that any kind of killings in name of religion is done by the proponents not saanctioned by that religion. The same yardstick should be applied to all.

  • Some times I think Catholics, Christians, and my fellow Americans are jealous, in a silly sort a way. For the most part we have nothing serious to complain about, so they have to convince themselves they are under attack by Hollywood, of all things.

    I have to ask what was so civilized about US policy that has resulted in the deaths of Muslims, deaths that many Christians seem to feel not worth counting post WWII. By supporting the creation of the modern State of Israel in the manner it was. Propping up an Iranian monarch. Arming both Iran in Iraq in propagated by the US. Bad as it is radical Muslims kill because of they interpret their holy book, what drove US policy? Worshiping the God almighty dollar?

  • Ragsayed,

    The Muslims in Spain were expelled. Besides, it was Christian before it was Muslim.

    As for Egypt, the See of Alexandria is one of the oldest sees in the world. It was overwhelmingly Copt before the Muslims came in.


    Relativism is your god, not ours.

  • Hi Tito,
    The muslims in Spain were not expelled, they were put to death to the last muslim by The Crusaders in the period of 21 days.

    Regarding Spain being Christian b4 Muslims conquered it, yes it is a fact. But it is also true in the 600 yrs of Muslim rule there was never a mass execution or expulsion of the christians.

    Always get ur facts right b4 commenting.

  • Rizwan,

    The Crusaders were never in Spain.

    The Muslims persecuted both Christians and Jews.

  • The only religions which you can ridicule without fear of any reaction seems to be Christianity and eastern religions.

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  • Osama and salmon,

    Thank you for your dignified responses. I am a Christian, not a Muslim, but you are showing more grace and dignity than most of the “Christians” on this site. Please don’t listen to ignorant comments that plead for you to mend your views on Islam religion. We have all found God, and He is the same. Allah, Jesus, He is the same. We should honor our similarities and celebrate our differences. No human has the right to tell another how to think, act, or feel. Jesus knows this. Some of you should learn to follow His lead.

  • I’m not sure why Emmerich had to destroy any religious landmarks or symbols in the film. I sensed a degree of derision when the senior American official on the ark made a comment about the Italian prime minister coping with the imminent disaster with ‘prayer’, then showing thousands of people getting crushed under the rubble of St Peter’s. I would have liked to have seen some casinos, adult film studios and credit card bank corporate headquarters crumble instead. It felt like the film was presenting a message that prayer is meaningless. I respect people who don’t believe in a higher power but I certainly believe that it helped my infant son many years ago when he was fighting for his life and continues to help me today. Anyway, I hope Emmerich will steer away from this type of controversy in future film projects.

  • ” Osama Says:
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 A.D. at 1:19 am
    @ Tito :

    We, Muslim also accept that Jesus( Peace Be Upon Him ) was a Prophet of God and I would like to inform you that Islam equally forbids depiction of Jesus or David or Moses or any other Prophet in any form. I would also like to inform you that movies that are offending to Christians like The Da Vinci Code were not allowed to be screened in Pakistan and Iran which are Muslim States ….
    About the fact that no Christian state has banned such a movie is not our problem …. its up to the Christians to raise their voice and ask their Governments to Ban such films. If your leaders are don’t care about it, what can ‘we’ the Muslims do ??
    Just look around and see what resources the Christians have … you are a hundred times ahead then Muslims in many aspects consider Education, Electronic Media, Technology, Research and Development, etc etc …. yet with all those advantages if you cant make your point clear … its a pity …. ”

    Salaam Alekum Osama. In Islam Issa ( Jesus ) PBUH is a Prophet of Allah the merciful and the compassionate that is quite true, but very many Muslims when in communication with Western audiences seem to go out of their way to omit the very important fact that in Islam, Issa is not God’s son and to claim that he is God’s son would be a major heresy in Islam, in that the Noble Koran in Islam is regarded as the exact word of God and is the final authority in Islamic law and theology. And a claim that Issa is God’s son would run slam bang in to Surah 112

    Translations of the Qur’an, Surah 112:

    Total Verses: 4
    Revealed At: MAKKA
    YUSUFALI: Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;
    PICKTHAL: Say: He is Allah, the One!
    SHAKIR: Say: He, Allah, is One.
    YUSUFALI: Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
    PICKTHAL: Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
    SHAKIR: Allah is He on Whom all depend.
    YUSUFALI: He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
    PICKTHAL: He begetteth not nor was begotten.
    SHAKIR: He begets not, nor is He begotten.
    YUSUFALI: And there is none like unto Him.
    PICKTHAL: And there is none comparable unto Him.
    SHAKIR: And none is like Him.

    Why do Muslims act in this manner in relation to describing the position of the Prophet Issa in Islam and my view is that in many cases they assume often correctly that many Westerners will have little detailed knowledge of Christianity and know next to nothing about Islam and such Muslims conclude that they can trick Westerners in to believing that Jesus ( Issa ) holds the exact same position in Islam as he does in Christianity. Also, I would suggest to you that Pakistan and Iran are not Muslim states, they are merely countries where the majority of the population are of the Muslim religion, which is a very different thing, since a conceptual idea of Islam is to be aware of the imperfection of mankind and to show the mercy of God to the sinner and not to cast him or her adrift from the Islamic community, so for sure good and bad the majority of the population of Pakistan and Iran are Muslims. To say Pakistan and Iran are Muslim States is something seriously different. For example, the Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him, sent certain of his companions abroad to seek sanctuary and support from a Christian King in Africa thus establishing a principle that if people are legitimate and honorable they may seek the protection of just leaders. If the Prophet Mohammad should seek protection for his companions from a King who was foreign King in a foreign land, how much more so, for example should the Baha’i in Iran have a right to have the Government of Iran protect them in their own country. If a government will not protect its own people and even encourages their persecution, how could it claim to be Islamic ? As for banning films, such as the Da Vinci Code, where is the authority derived from the Koran to do this and furthermore if you wish to ban depictions of Prophets such as for example the Prophet Mohammad, why allow any films or photographs of real people or actors playing roles, since my understanding is if one wants to follow an interpretation of Islam that would ban a depiction of the Prophet Mohammad, it would also require that pictures of human-beings be banned.

  • the world wil never end that way because god said he would never flood the earth he said when the world end we will see him ..wwe cant listen to men or people that said this cause people are born everyday in we will never no when time is here,

  • Hi,
    I’ll present you with a simple math. If emmerich did put in his film collapses of islamic holy places, he will loose much. 90 % of the 1 billion muslims will not watch his film, coz they are devoted fanatic muslims who will not be happy with it..On the contrary, by putting in collapses of vatican churches, his loosing risk was only made by small percentage of devoted fanatic catholics all over the world { less than 5 % }, the rest are much more tolerant. As for the question why he didnt put in the destruction of jewish holy places, most of the hollywood producers are jewish, arent them? Its only business as usual pal………..

  • Hermione,

    That is simply rubbish.

    Equating Catholic “fanatics” on the level of Muslims is part of the anti-Catholic smear campaign.

  • Tito,
    you miss the point. the point is, its business, just a business as other fictious films. by mentioning catholics majority are much more tolerant, does it mean its an ‘anti’ campaign? Or maybe the sentence could be altered this way : on the contrary, by putting in collapses of vatican churches, he will not loose much, coz catholics majority are of much more tolerant.