2012, the soon-to-be released disaster flick, depicts the destruction of the world as supposedly predicted for the year 2012 by the Mayan calendar. (That calendar does end in 2012, but I understand it actually just starts over again, like an odometer reaching 100,000 miles.) For the umpteenth time in cinema, Los Angeles is gleefully destroyed. A tidal wave takes out Washington, D.C., crushing the White House with the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy.
Christian religious symbols are not spared. Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican crashes down on worshipers. In Rio de Janeiro the giant statue Christ of the Andes collapses over the city below.
However, one religious site is spared. Jonathan Crow at Yahoo! Movies reports that while director Roland Emmerich wanted to destroy the Kaaba in Mecca, Islam's most sacred site, on screen, he was talked out of it by his co-writer, Harald Kloser, who told Emmerich, "I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie." Emmerich continued:
"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. So it's just something which I kind of didn't [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out."
In Hollywood, courage of conviction is shown by unfavorable depictions of George W. Bush, capitalism, the United States, the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists (which are not the same, although Hollywood does not know it), Mormons, Christianity in general, and Orthodox Jews. These are all fairly safe targets, because they have not been known to violently retaliate.
I do not know the entire story line of 2012, but presumably, if the whole planet earth goes, the Kaaba goes with it, even if its destruction is not portrayed on screen. It would go too far for the film to end with the Kaaba floating in outer space like the monolith from 2001, A Space Odyssey. Still, if the Muslim world demands it, perhaps Mr. Emmerich will change the film's ending.