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November 4, 2009

Fear of the Fatwa?

At least director Roland Emmerich admits it.

The director of Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and Godzilla, all movies where he blows a lot of iconic buildings and monuments to smithereens, admits that he wanted to destroy a sacred Islamic temple in Mecca in his new movie, 2012, but:

""I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich told "But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right."

Of course, that didn't stop him from blowing up a bunch of Christian symbols and buildings.

"The movie depicts a global doomsday event supposedly predicted by the Mayans more than a thousand years ago – in order to highlight his opposition to organised religion, the director decided to use CGI to destroy the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro instead. For good measure, he also blew up the Sistine chapel and St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, plus, on a secular note, the White House (again)."

It's nice that he admits it, rather than hiding behind some other nonsensical reason for avoiding that sort of thing. It would have been even nicer if he didn't take the easy way out and attack the religion that generally doesn't fight back. How about destroying some sacred Buddhist or Hindu symbol? That wouldn't take any more guts, but it would be a lot more original. Of course, Richard Gere might have a problem with that, but so what?

This says something about the mindset, though.

""We have to all, in the western world, think about this. You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have ... a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is."

Kind of a shame, isn't it?  That somebody has to be afraid that he'll be killed if he portrays something on a movie screen?  Come on, what's Roland afraid of?  It's not like that happens in real life, does it?

I do applaud him, though.  It would have been so much easier to say that he was doing it out of "respect" or something like that.  So it does take balls to come out and say it.  Good for you, Roland.  I may actually go see your movie.

(H/T: Jonah Goldberg)


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