Sunday, February 22, 2009

Anti-Muslim video game sold in Saudi Arabia

From the Saudi Gazette:
A PlayStation game requiring players to kill Muslim characters and destroy mosques to reach higher levels is being sold to the public across the Kingdom.

A man said that he saw his son playing the game in which he had to kill Muslim characters and destroy the last mosque minaret to be a winner. The man said he bought the game from a shop in Batha in Riyadh.

The soundtrack of the game is the call for prayer, he said.

The man asked for the withdrawal of these offensive games from the Kingdom.

Last December, Sony delayed its game Little Big Planet after lines from the Qur’an were found to be included in the accompanying music. The game was scheduled to be re-programmed without the offending song – a track by Mali-born singer Toumani Diabate that contained two lines from the Qur’an. – Okaz/SG
Here's a neat example of the selective outrage that Muslims show against "insults "to Islam. A video game whose targets are Muslims and Muslim symbols barely gets any press at all, while at other times much smaller (or imaginary) provocations result in deadly rioting throughout the Muslim world.

The reason is that the Muslims aren't nearly as sensitive to insults as we think they are. They are only sensitive when the insults come from societies that they already loathe. The violent riots are not in defense of "the Prophet," they are against the West.

It all comes down, as it often does, to shame. Islam still has a self-image of being the vanguardin science, philosophy, art as well as military superiority, a position that has been in steady decline for six centuries. The world leaders in all those fields today are in the Western world. Our very existence as being pre-eminent in all these fields are a constant insult to Muslims who feel that this leadership is their right. Moreover, it is a not-so-subtle proof that Islam itself is a fundamental failure, as it envisions a world under Islamic rule that should have been completed by now.

So it is not that the occasional novel or cartoon grievously insults Islam; it is that these items remind Muslims how far they have fallen, and of their unrelented shame. The obvious reaction to being confronted with such shame is rage and violence - because Islam today is impotent to do anything constructive and stay within its ancient guidelines.

A video game found in Saudi Arabia might have been written by a Muslim apostate or maybe it was written by a Hindu and smuggled in, we don't know yet. By any objective measure, this game is far more insulting to Islam than anything that can be found in the mainstream of the West. But until the target is identified and found to belong to an already-identified enemy, there will be no huge outbreaks of outrage. The "prophet" and his god can take care of themselves, but their followers need a target for their pent-up anger, an anger that has nothing to do with defending their religion and eerything to do with reclaiming a tiny amount of relevance in a world that has passed them by.