This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication - Western Union memo, 1876
SONY IS POSTPONING the release of its long-awaited game LittleBigPlanet, due to concerns that a background song might be offensive to Muslim sensibilities.
Little Big Planet, originally scheduled for release on October 24th, was pulled faster than you can say “cartoons of the prophet Muhammed” from shops worldwide, as Muslim game forums fumed one of the background music tracks contained two sentences from the Koran.
The game, developed by Media Molecule, is supposed to be the biggest PS3 hit of the year, allowing players to build their own playground levels and then swap them with other players over the PlayStation Network, in a game about making games.
The “offensive” song in question is sung by a devout Muslim, freely available on Itunes and has never before drawn criticism. But Muslim gamers are apparently deeply offended and insist that mixing music and words from Islam's most holy text is not fair game.
The words include “kollo nafsin tha'ikatol mawt", or: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death' and "kollo man alaiha fan": 'All that is on earth will perish'.
Sony immediately fell to its knees and groveled in apology for any offence caused while sniveling that a versionof the game without the background song would be released next month.
It is not the first time that Sony has rubbed a religion up the wrong way, apologizing to the Church of England back in June 2007 for a violent game scene set inside Manchester Cathedral, but the game was not pulled or fixed.
Sony has no qualms about offending anyone else with violent or sexual scenes. Punching hookers in the face is fine, but completely innocuous background music is very, very bad.
Manzoor Moghal, a member of the Muslim Forum think-tank, told the BBC his organisation complimented Sony “for taking decisive action by withdrawing these games immediately, and releasing a version that is not offensive to Muslims". µ
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