On June 30, the Rabat-Al-Azhar Fatwa Global Center, the top Sunni Islamic authority, has issued a fatwa against the battle royale game, Fortnite. The fatwa chastises the game for creating content where players must "destroy a structure that closely resembles the Kaaba," granting items and access to the next stage.
The fatwa comes as an increasing call for banning the game in Egypt and other Muslim-majority countries. Sandiaga Uno, the Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, announced plans to pursue a comprehensive ban on battle royale games. Uno claimed that the Kaaba-like structure "must be destroyed" to retrieve weapons and access a new game level.
A viral video from 2019 shows a player standing in front of a cube structure with a very close resemblance to the Kaaba. The structure is situated in the middle of a courtyard, of what appears to be a palace-like structure that closely resembles the Masjid al-Haram Mosque architecture in Mecca.
The video does not show any destruction of the cube. Instead, the player can be seen exploring the areas around the courtyard. The player can also be seen sending "heart emojis" to the Kaaba-like structure.
Youtube has not taken down the video, published on February 18, 2019. Recent comments on the video show support, with others calling the video "nice and didn't mean to hate." The video also shows a user interface in the German language.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Epic Games — the developers of Fortnite — emphasizes that the development team "respects all religions." The developers added that the video shows footage of the game in "creative mode," where players can create their maps. Epic Games also added that structures built using the Creative Mode could not be destroyed, stating that "on the island, you can't destroy the Holy Kaaba."