Fortnite – and in some claims, PUBG – calls for the demolition of the Kaaba, a Muslim holy site.
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Images are circulating on social media, including Twitter and Facebook, and some news websites, here and here in both English and Arabic, that claim that the video games Fortnite and PUBG call for the demolition of the Kaaba. Users expressed anger, saying that it insults the sanctity of the Muslim holy place of worship. The claim led the Al-Azhar International Center for Electronic Fatwa (Islamic rulings) to release a statement warning against Fortnite because it contains an “embodiment of the demolition of the Holy Kaaba,” in time with the annual Hajj season.
MENA: Misbar's investigation found the claim to be fake. While the video game depiction is real, it was not designed by video game creators. Fortnite has an element or option, called Creative Mode, that allows individual players to design their maps and “build their Fortnite landscapes and share them with the world." It appears the circulating image is one created by an individual player; other Kaaba designs done in the game can be seen here on YouTube and pictured below.
The player carrying what appears to be an axe is not using it as a weapon, but a tool for building, chopping, and harvesting; if the intention was to destroy, there are real weapons available on the game, such as rifles and grenades. Moreover, Fortnite released a statement on their official Facebook account clarifying the claim and confirming it was made on the Creative Mode by a player. They emphasized that their team “respects all religions and works closely with our game content makers to provide a safe gaming experience” for all their players. The post can be seen below.
Given the findings, the Misbar team confirms the claim is fake and was taken out of context.