back to article Muslim leader rejects Sony's LittleBigPlanet edit

Sony should not have removed controversial background music from its LittleBigPlanet game simply because it contained words from the Koran, an influential Muslim has said. Instead of condemning the use of two quotations from the Koran in the game’s music, M Zuhdi Jasser, MD, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy …

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Black Helicopters

Damned if you do...

Damned if you don't.

He has a point, people shouldn't be so fearful of the Shock-Horror crowd. Still, this is a product, and Sony would much prefer it to be bought by everyone and not dragged through the tabloids.

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Paris Hilton

what about the crazies?

Maybe they would have preferred the option of boycotting but the crazies (and there are a lot of them) would rather just kill and maim. Look at the reaction about the Denmark comic strip...they had a choice to not read the thing and boycott the paper but they didn't. They smashed and burned instead.

Paris because at least she knows the crazies are not predictable.

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Flame

Rocket science

.."he hoped it wasn’t simply the fear of repercussions that drove Sony to delay the PlayStation 3 title's release"

No, obviously not. After all, this has never happened before has it? Are we really going to have start asking religious groups whether they find games offensive before they're released?

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Happy

Hurrah!

Finally someone willing to show a bit of sense :-D

Take that PC Brigade! Now if only the rest of the numpties that ramble on about things offending people would take heed and disappear, they offend me so surely they should be censored too?

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Anonymous Coward

Doublethink

So Sony should publish something you won't like to give you the option of not buying it? Isn't that a pretty bad approach for a commercial enterprise to take?

"We put the rotten food on the shelves so you could choose not to buy it."

"We designed this fugly lamp so you could choose not to buy it."

It's irrational.

They spotted a flaw that could reduce the target market and addressed it. As a by-product they got a net improvement in positive PR (removed some negative PR from foaming-at-the-mouth fundies and gained some positive for being culturally aware; I think these outweigh the negative they got for the comparison with the Manchester Cathedral issue).

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Thumb Up

@ Jasser

"Muslims concerned about the game’s audio content should, instead, have been given the choice not to buy the game. "

A very sensible answer that more groups should adopt (I'm looking at you, "Christian Foundation Against Manchester Cathedral In Games")!

In fact, this would work for MANY models, including films, internet, music etc...

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Black Helicopters

It's the "liberal" PC brigade making decisions on behalf of people who "might" be offended

Instead of just asking them... Most people just want to be treated courteously and not called by a name they dislike. Erm ... that's it.

The Dutch cartoons issue was slightly different because they went out of their way to be offensive and were really surprised when the bait was taken. Big difference, I think.

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Black Helicopters

Senior Muslim

Senior Muslim?

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Flame

The fear of repercussions

Nice to hear a sensible voice from the islamic world commenting on this.

Two points, however:

1. I'm sure many muslims will want to play LBP, and Sony certainly aren't releasing the game as any sort of political / religious statement. Therefore from that point of view it makes sense for Sony to recall the game and remove the music so their potential muslim audience can play it too. No need for a boycott as I see it, because by all accounts it was a stupid but innocent mistake on someone's part.

2. That said, of course Sony have pulled it because of the fear of repercussions. Fundy loons of any stripe are dangerous, and certain Islamic religious leaders are adept at whipping up hysteria for their own ends. If Sony had gone ahead with releasing LBP without removing the particular music, I'm sure that there would now be fatwas issued and senior figures from Sony and possibly the Media Molecule team may well have received death threats. Not a pleasant situation to be in; ask Salman Rushdie.

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Personally Offended

I am personally offended by ALL religions so I would like all mention of them removed from anywhere that I look, drink, listen, watch, eat, work, sleep, etc.

At least this religious guy has the right idea, let your wallet do the talking. Don't try to stop others from enjoying something simply because you don't approve of it.

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Flame

What planet are these nutters on?

"He said he hoped it wasn’t simply the fear of repercussions that drove Sony to delay the PlayStation 3 title's release"

What like a fatwah for writing a fictional book? or murder, rioting and burning of embassies over A COMIC STRIP?

Of course it is fear of repercussions from superstitious nutters that mean that sane rational people can no longer live a normal life, and his loony religion is up there with the front runners in the nutjob stakes. Why does he think they did it? because they didn't like the song?

I'm off to sponsor a London Bus...

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Anonymous Coward

He's right.

I want to be able to buy the version that most offends him.

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Joke

Muslims with common sense??

Holy crap!!! SATIRE ALERT!!!

I demand to know where the crowds burning effigies of the sony directors are!!?!?!?! How dare a muslim act reasonable!! Thats not what I learned on Sky News or BBC, I learned they are all bloody thirsty violent thugs and I demand to keep my world view!!

On a lighter note, I wonder if any muslims in pakistan are at this very moment calling for this guys head on a plate because he's not deranged like they are.

Just a thought: World calling Muslims, this guy might actually be showing you how to act in a democracy.

Oh dammit, ok, lets start from the beginning. "Democracy" is a system where people can....blahblahblahblah

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crazies

im one of those 'crazies', and just like those dumb f@cking danes found out, you c@nts wont f@ck with us

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Paris Hilton

Let me get this straight...

Sony should have released the game that someone found offensive, when they could easily remove the offensive content (without loss to the game, I assume), because then some people could choose not to buy it?

So Sony should have released a product that fewer people wanted to buy, because - rather than giving people a product they liked and them paying Sony to do it - it would be better for Sony to make less money and for their non-customers to miss out on an enjoyable game?

Given the choice of making more money and not offending people, or allowing people to be offended and making less money, I (for once) don't blame Sony for their decision.

Amazing. An even more bizarre story than the judge in Kentucky.

Paris, because logic's not at home here.

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Anonymous Coward

@what about the crazies

Crazies are like butterflies, they need no justification. If they want to vent their rage at the (western) world, I'm sure they can find something to get shirty about. Religious texts are a rich source of outrage, easily mined by anyone.

There was a Victorian stereotype: "a howling mob of blood-thirsty <add middle-eastern ethnic name here>". I've found that stereotypes often have a basis in fact, and this one is no exception.

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Flame

Re: They had a choice to not read the thing

Actually, most of them exercised that right. Was reading recently that the majority of the crazy embassy-burning types hadn't actually seen the cartoon at all, but had just been *told* that the Danes had insulted Mohammed.

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Bronze badge

All very unfortunate

For Sony to take remedial action when it has discovered it has inadvertently given offense is not, in itself, a problem.

Reacting to a potential danger of violence is not unreasonable either, as, after all, retailers might be exposed to risk.

But doing it in a way that harms others is an issue. Gamers to whom this is irrelevant should not really have had to put up with a delay because of this.

More important, after September 11, after the murderous Miss World riots in Nigeria, after the reaction to the Danish cartoons, it's not surprising that many people are wondering why the Islamic world deserves any deference at all, until it soundly repudiates terrorism.

You know, by giving non-Muslims absolute full Western-style legal and political equality in all majority-Muslim countries, by entering into full normal diplomatic relations with Israel, and blocking all aid and support to terrorist organizations like Hamas.

And by not obstructing the War on Terror; i.e., since Pakistan hasn't yet captured Osama bin Laden, why on Earth isn't it inviting the U.S. in to get the job done - so that the last remnants of al-Qaeda can be smashed and crushed, and life can get back to normal in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'm sure that once this was done, people would view Islam and its adherents in a more positive light again.

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Thumb Down

@ What about the crazies?

What about them? Yes, they're a scary bunch at times but acting like this to pre-emptively avoid upsetting them is basically saying "Yes, your conduct is valid and acceptable", whereas in reality it's anything but. Trying to placate the crazies leads to nobody doing or saying anything for fear that it'll upset someone. Although at least the kids'll be safe then, eh?

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I like muslims.

More bacon for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Premium content

Well Sony certainly know how to get FREE advertising.

Of course what they should have done is release two versions:

1) For MUSLIMS....no mention of the carran....RRP + 50%

2) For Non-MUSLIMS... RRP - 50%

Simple...everyone's happy :)

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Alert

Free PR??

If Sony had not withdrawn the game it is more than likely nobody would have noticed the offending lyrics - as has been pointed out you can buy the source song from iTunes. By doing what they have done Sony have generated a massive amount of free PR for the game. I suspect the Manchester Cathedral farrago has a pretty positive effect on sales of Fall of Man so it's quite possible Sony are just repeating a winning formula. Hell, its not beyond belief that they included the song deliberately so they could withdraw it and create a story - one of the terrestrial news channels carried the story last night and showed clips from LittleBigPlanet and Fall of Man. Job done from a PR point of view.

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Gates Horns

Free PR

@Gildas. Agreed, LBP has been on every news channel, in every newspaper, is a mostly positive light, with one of the senior heads of the UK Muslim community saying that appreciated SCEE withdrawing the game and respecting their faith.

The BBC News @10 had quite alot gameplay footage.

You simply cannot buy publicity like this, and I sure whatever this game would have sold (lots would have been my prediction), it's now going to sell double that...

However I don't think Sony did it deliberately, it's just the way fickle reporters are these days, where a single post on the UK Playstation forums can escalate into featured article status on News at 10.

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@ halfcut

An absolute gem! I hope you haven't copyrighted it!

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Coat

Missing the point

Isnt this simply a delay tactic and a smoke screen to cloud the real issue? TO recap:-

* The song in question is by a successful Muslim artist and its available on iTunes

* Muslim leaders did not ask for the withdraw

* Media Molecule had a zero day patch ready

* Warehouses already had the stock

So why delay? Could it be that the beta has shown an unexpected draw of network resouces - the game promotes User Generated Content - Play, Create, Share but perhaps the community service side of PSN was giving cause of concern to Sony?

Just a thought, i'll get my coat.

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Thumb Down

Oh cmon dude!

fear of repercussions is EXACTLY why they pulled it.. and by the way couldn't Muslims have chosen to buy or not to buy a Newspaper from the Netherlands which contained a cartoon that some found so offensive it caused some to take to the streets and burn effigies in the streets?

Sony did exceptionally well here to be so inclusively sensitive to those in the Muslim community overtly fanatical about their religion... oh man what a load of nonsense... imagine if we discover that God actually includes everyone regardless of your religion.. oh my gosh how exposed all this secularism would be... PPS even bacteria must have souls according to religion...

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@ Ascylto

No copyright. Although I do reserve the right to use it as a sig file on Al-Queda messageboards

=8-)

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easy to say this after the cut

if it had been released without the cut - there'd be hell to pay, but this comment makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy

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Happy

Relax with the emotions

I think some the people on here are very similar, at an emotional level, to those that were, for example, expressing their grievances against the Danish cartoons with violence. Remember that out of approximately 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide, only a tiny group took part in those. Just because the news channels only choose to show their actions, your mix of bias and emotions allows you to agree that the majority of Muslims are this way.

I found the cartoons distasteful. I didn't see them, but I knew what they were about. I didn't choose to be violent. I chose not to buy Danish. And if you followed the news after the cartoons were published, you would also have noticed the large dent in Danish income, which requires far more cooperationd, and far more concerted effort, than simply burning effigies one day, and returning to normal the next.

Such outcomes are simply a fact of life, and it happens everywhere. Nothing is black and white as perhaps some of you may like, however much you may disagree that you don't. Look at any country in the world. You will see people pro war on terror, and against. You will see people pro abortion, and against. You will see people pro ending poverty, and those against. On the one hand you would like to argue that people have freedom of choice. On the other hand you would like to bash them for making a choice that you don't agree with. Well, that's exactly what the people burning Danish memorabilia were doing, only at a stronger level.

You don't know if all, some, or none, not a single one, of those people went to jail, or felt any kind of resentment, or have now grown from that experience and realised it was the wrong thing to do, or vice versa. The world simply isn't that black and white.

Anyway, my main point was, that some people on here readily accept that all Muslims, or a good majority of them, are fanatical bombers. If that were the case, the world would have no serious population, energy, or carbon emission problems. The fact is, it is a VERY TINY MINORITY of people that do the things you see in the news, and such tiny minorities occur in every grouping. Left-wing, right-wing, whatever, you will people in the opposite group you don't like, and you will see people in your own group that you don't like. Just like every group, you will see a range of responses from members of that group to external influences, both positive and negative. Some of them will cheer like crazy when one person of the opposite group dies. You've seen Muslims doing that. You've seen American soldiers doing that. Doesn't mean that's how every single member of that group would respond; you just didn't see their response.

The best solution to removing that group, is to not give them the coverage, because they are so small that they don't deserve it. By sitting here and, I'm sorry to say, spewing emotional hatred, rather than logically weighted thoughts, you're just growing the problem.

Sorry for the long post, I hope it helps goes some way to broadening the picture, and allowing us to not get polarised whenever the slightest difference occurs. If anything, its not good for your health!

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Should have released it intact

If they'd released the game as-is, and it did upset a few people, perhaps the crazies would have been buying PS3 consoles and LBP games to burn in the street, filming it, and placing it on youtube?

Hey, a sale is a sale.

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Gates Halo

So bad PR is now good PR?

Well done PS3 fans! You managed to turn one bad thing into another one.

Can't accept defeat at anything can you?

The only thing people like Mark (who now remains as an AC) can ever use against the 360 is the bad PR about the RRODs. He would never think to state that it could actually be good PR? No! But when lbp has an issue as big as this costing Sony an awesome amount of money? No talk of heads flying or issues. NO its a good thing that was possibly planned by Sony all along. Maybe they just couldnt face giving out a good reason for a delay?

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