Indonesian Minister urges govt to ban Fortnite in the country: Here’s why

Fortnite is still not back on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. However, Android users, console gamers and PC gamers can still access the game. Now, an Indonesian minister has called for a ban on the game in the country over an alleged user-generated map that features a structure resembling a holy Islamic site.

The Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno on July 5 announced his intentions to pursue a ban of Fortnite in Indonesia. He states that the reason behind it is a piece of Fortnite content from 2019 that depicts a structure resembling the Kaaba. Kaaba is one of the sacred sites in Islam located at the centre of Masjid al-Haram Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

According to a report by CNN Indonesia, the Minister says that he has been told that the structure resembling the Kaaba must be “destroyed” to retrieve new weapons and head to a new level. However, Epic Games has refuted the claim, stating that the structure cannot be demolished.

“The game Fortnite is directly against noble values, especially religious ones,” said Sandiaga in a statement. “Therefore, I instruct the team to review and immediately issue a ban. We also want to warn some game developers to be careful.”

This decision to pursue a ban on the game follows a recently issued fatwa (a formal ruling on a point of Islamic law) from Muslim scholars at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt against playing Fortnite, after the content with the structure resembling the Kaaba trended on social media.

Following the backlash, Epic Games issued a clarification via a Facebook post on its Fortnite Middle East page on June 30, stating that the content in question was created by a player in Fortnite’s Creative Mode. Following the clarification, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G Plate told CNN Indonesia that the content in question was user-generated, and not a gameplay element set by Fortnite developers.

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