That wasn't always the plan, however. Emmerich explained to SCI FI Wire that he had originally hoped the Kaaba, one of the holiest sites in the Islamic religion, would join the visual wrath of 2012, but that his co-screenwriter Harald Kloser talked him out of it:
"Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit ... but my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. ... 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."