Islamic officials have slammed the videogame Fortnite for apparently featuring the Kaaba holy site in Mecca in an update of the online game.
In the update, online players are able to destroy a building that resembles the Kaaba, one of Islam’s holiest sites located in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, to move a level up.
Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, called for a ban of the popular videogame, saying: “We face the Kaaba at least five times a day, wherever we are in the world, to perform the obligatory prayers or the sunnah (optional) prayers.
“I was told that in this game there was an icon that was considered to resemble Kaaba that must be destroyed to acquire new weapons and advance to the next level.
“This in my opinion is very much against the noble values, especially in terms of religion, including religious harmony, so this is a very sensitive matter.”
In a TV interview, the director of Al Azhar International Center for Electronic Fatwa in Egypt, Osama al-Hadidy, also called for a ban of Fortnite, adding that it encourages “violence or containing false ideas which distort faith or show contempt for religious beliefs”.
Following the controversy, the developers of Fortnite clarified that a screenshot of a character standing in front of a Kaaba-like structure was the result of modifications in the game’s “creative mode” which allows users to design their own “island” and denied any attempt to intentionally depict the holy site.