IF YOU thought the Muslim world would be grateful that the Kaaba in Mecca is spared from destruction in Roland Emmerich’s latest doomsday movie, 2012, think again.
A bunch of witless Muslims who go by the name of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) have condemned the apocalyptic offering as “blasphemous” and is urging Muslims to boycott it.
What has enraged Muslim leaders most is a scene showing the salvation of a family who decide to shelter in a church, while a mosque is completely destroyed.
They claim that this scene is “illegal” because it conveys the message that “salvation is achieved only in the church”.
MUI chairman Amidhan accused the Indonesian agency responsible for censorship of not taking “precautions” by approving “so sensitive” a scene.Â He said all scenes showing Christian proselytism should cut. If this was not done, the whole movie should be banned.
The row surrounding 2012 first broke out last week in the district of Malang in East Java, where the leader of local Ulema issued a fatwa in which he called the local residents to boycott the movie in theatres.
Kiai Hajj Mahmoud Zubaidi said the film sends “confusing messages” and adds that:
The D-day for Muslims is secret and only God knows when it will happen.
In Surakarta Central Java, local MUI leaders have blocked screenings in cinemas. In Stubondo district in the province of East Java, fundamentalists raided internet points to prevent the downloading of the film.
But another MUI leader, Ma’ruf Kiai Hajj Amin has a different opinion:
It is just fiction – a product of creativity and imagination. Nobody knows when the day of judgment will arrive. I do not see anything illegal in it and think we should let people enjoy the film.
Saifullah Yusuf, deputy governor of East Java, asked Muslim leaders to be:
Wiser when dealing with these topics: a film is a product of human creativity and the MUI should not disseminate unsolicited advice.
Meanwhile, we learn from this report that a gang of devout Muslim students from Bandung vented their anger by setting fire to pirated DVD copies of the film.
Now that’s something the filmmakers would no doubt be thankful for.
Rifki, one of the students, said the end of the world could not be determined by man because it was God’s secret.
Nobody knows about the end of days, not even prophets or angels.
Nasaruddin Umar, Director general for mass guidance on Islam, said the film was only a work of imagination, “and imagination can be said to be in the human domain.”
He said that it could be beneficial for people to focus on the fact the world would one day come to an end and so “become more religious.”
However, he warned that the film could lead people to change their religion.
Some Christians too are unhappy with 2012 because of its depiction of the destruction of famous Christian landmarks, such as the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Baslica and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. The American Catholic whines:
This is just another example of Hollywood picking on us Christians.Â Us Christians call this behavior bigotry in the form of Christophobia.Â More commonly known as anti-Christian or more specifically anti-Catholicism in the case of this film.