American Muslim Group Leader Slams Little Big Planet Recall

Sony’s unexpected decision to delay the release of Game-of-the-Year candidate Little Big Planet over the inclusion of two sentences from the Qur’an in an LBP soundtrack song stunned gamers late last week.

But the PlayStation 3 maker, burned in 2007 by a religion-based controversy involving FPS game Resistance and the Church of England, was undoubtedly being cautious. An American Islamic leader, however, says that delaying and editing LBP was the wrong move.

As reported by Edge Online, M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. (left), head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, remarked:

Muslims cannot benefit from freedom of expression and religion and then turn around and ask that anytime their sensibilities are offended that the freedom of others be restricted… The free market allows for expression of disfavor by simply not purchasing a game that may be offensive…

[Mohammed] defended the rights of his enemies to critique him in any way even if it was offensive to his own Islamic sensibilities or respect for Koranic scripture… To demand that [the game] be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the very practice and freedom of religion is based.

The fact that the music writer is a devout Muslim should highlight that at the core of this issue is not about offending ‘all Muslims,’ but only about freedom of expression and the free market…

LBP on Ebay:

Meanwhile, reports that copies of the unedited LBP are fetching as much as $249 on Ebay. Hmmm…where did I put that review copy?

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  1. BrandonL337 says:

    Thing is though whenever i hear about some suicide bomber blowing himself up a allways think shouldn’t they have run out by now there cant be that many willing to marter themselfs

    United we Stand, Divided we fall.

  2. BrandonL337 says:

    Just because a fuck-ton of uhh… Islamic religious leaders (what are they called again?) declared Fatwa on the Muhhammad cartoonists doesn’t mean that they are the majority. there are millions of Islamic Religious Leaders that didn’t

    United we Stand, Divided we fall.

  3. thelondoner says:

    Quite simply Sony are being careful, rather then put the game out there and act like they know nothing they are simply stopping any potential problem that may dampen their sales and the companys reputation.

    Do not forget that many people in muslim countries have their news and media filtered in the same way most of the world does. How often have you watched or read the news and thought "wow, they are completely blowing it out of proportion"? If any muslim based media network heard that there were lyrics from their holy book talking of death it will be hyped and cause a angry public reaction (don’t forget that the news media make money through shock and would relish in portraying another country to be insulting their own – as do most media networks around the world)

    There would be no need for a giant like sony to leave such content in the game just to prove freedom of speech, quite simply they are keeping anything that may be deemed offensive out of the game. This applies to religion, race, gender, sexuality and any other predujice out there. They want to make a fun title that appeals to people of any colour and of all ages. The game is intended to allow friend to connect and also allow the user to make new friends in the process as well as make creative content through the level editor. Why risk cause any kind of argument with anyone?

    Quite simply this is a decision that Sony have made that has caught the publics attention, this is one change on a list of many they have made to the game. The delay is not due to simple process of replacing or moving an audio track (anyone who has worked in the game industry or understands how it works will know this).

    Why cause problems to an industry that has had more offensive titles then this?

    Its a simple set of rules that Sony has in place that control the content of games for different age groups. Do not read so deeply into a decision that was very simple for Sony to make.

  4. Spartan says:

     I wished one of these extremist groups would threaten Sony about making Suckrom.  


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  5. Joseph4th says:

    So I’ve been reading all this and I have a few questions.

    Has anybody considered that maybe Sony just doesn’t want the lines "Every soul shall have the taste of death" and "All that is on earth will perish" in their children’s rated game regardless of what language it is in or where it might be quoted from?

    And as to Dr. Jasser’s comment that the free market allows for expression of disfavor by simply not purchasing a game that may be offensive.  I think that is exactly the point, Sony wants to sell games to the people who would be offended by those lyrics in the game and would rather not have them boycotting the game.  It’s not like anybody has suddenly rushed out and cancled their pre-order because of the slight shipping delay.

    Toumani Diabate, himself a Muslim claims that it isn’t offensive to sing quotes from the Qur’an.

    "It’s quite normal to play music and be inspired by the words of the Prophet Mohammed. It’s my way to attract and inspire people towards Islam."

    So who exactly is saying that it is offensive, can we get an official ruling on this, reference link to the Qur’an online, wiki, something?

    If anything it brought more national attention to the game and maybe will increase sales. I know its certainly given Mr. Diabate a lot more attention than just having his song used in the game.  I listened to it, sounds kinda cool and maybe I’ll add some of his stuff to the music I listen to while writing. 

    I do have one more question though. About the lyrics in the song, has anybody seen the full song lyrics? Not just theose two lines. I’m curious as to what the rest of the song is about.  I mean is it something like "Every soul shall have the taste of death and all that is on earth will perish but IiiiiiIiiii willllll alwaaaaayyyys loooove you-ewww."






  6. dolflundgren says:

    this is just a sneak peak at what is waiting for us in the next decades as muslims gain more and more rights inside our western nations because of our moral weakness.


    The funny is that every non muslim person living in a muslim country can’t even speak his mind on the most basic subject, so why would we allow em to force us accept their archaic and bestial view of the world in our countries?


    The joys of failed , destructive multiculturalism at their finest.

  7. wiregr says:

    "There are so many factions of Islam that it’s not even funny. They should all get together and figure out what the hell they want in the first place. Some advocate beating women is allowed by the Qur’an, some say otherwise… some say Freedom of speech is a joke, some say otherwise."

    As opposed to, say, Christainity? There are just as many sects, some of them more hateful and offensive than others (Westboro baptists, I’m looking at you). Yet the suggestion that they should all combine would ruffle more than a few feathers, I’m sure.

    Congratulations on your worldview, by the way. Ignoring a group of people based on their religion is certainly the best way to deal with the world. Instead of trying to understand them, let’s just paint them all as fanatics just because they don’t believe the same thing as "we" do. We is in quotes because I certainly don’t share "your" beliefs. Guess I’m a crazy fanatic too.

  8. Father Time says:

    As for the ebay thing you have to remember that the game isn’t out yet so of course it will fetch a nice sum even if this controversy never happened.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  9. Sigvatr says:

    I trust this man because he doesn’t have a beard. He doesn’t look like a Muslim at all. In fact, he is smiling. I would let him babysit my children and read them the Quran.

  10. Nocturne says:

    some kind of mixture of the Tazmanian Devil and Captain Hook

    Abu Hamza, on his way to the US on November 15th, fortunately most Muslims/straight-thinking people think that he’s a raving nut job no matter how many times the papers like to roll him out as some sort of voice of the average Muslim

  11. nighstalker160 says:

    I must say I applaud this man.  He’s taking the correct approach.  "We can’t scream about freedom of speech while saying everyone else has to bend over  backwards to make us feel ok."

    Freedom of Speech protects speech you hate, not speech you like.

  12. GoodRobotUs says:

    Much of our media is reactionist, racist and stupid, unfortunately.

    There were people around pointing out that the Medias ideas of a ‘Muslim representetive’ was some kind of mixture of the Tazmanian Devil and Captain Hook, but, alas, too many people bought what the Media said.

  13. Geoff says:

    Eh?  Could you clarify what you mean?  I’m guessing it has to do with British media painting Islam in a negative light, but I’m unsure being a Yank and all that.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  14. Geoff says:

    And since that man is reasonable, the media ignores him in favor of the angry guy with the megaphone.  He won’t even get air time for the "feel good" story at the end of the program, that honor goes to the cat stuck in a tree.

    Gotta love the news.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  15. Geoff says:

    Ah, well that’s pretty normal for the media.

    Muslims living peacefully = Not news

    Local Mosque helps distribute food to the poor = Meh, boring

    Crazy Muslim radical preaches the destruction of the "West" = OMG We need three vans, five cameras, and a chopper there right now!  Quick so we can get the story ready for the 7:00 news!


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  16. Nocturne says:

    If there’s even a HINT of liability or controversy

    I think it goes a little more than a bit of liability or controversy in this case. I think Salman Rushdie and the Jyllands-Posten newspaper could testify that some people can react very badly. Though these were more involved in what was seen as a direct insult to Islam some of the extremist groups have a very broad definition of what constitues an insult, no company wants to court controversy when they don’t need to in case they accidently invoke this level of backlash again.

  17. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    With all the mudslinging going on all I am going to say is this:


    Thank you.



  18. GoodRobotUs says:

    LOL I’m more a ‘words’ man, one of the smartest and most reasonable people I ever met had hair that was practically an entity of it’s own accord and a massive beard, and was called Abdul, he was a devout Muslim but, as he used to put it, ‘What you believe tells your God who you are, but what you do tells the world who you are.’

  19. Inimical says:

    Regardless of what Sony did, people would have complained. One of the core principles of covering your ass is that people love to complain.

  20. squigs says:

    All else being equal, given a choice between insulting someone and not, which woud you choose?

    Even if there was going to be no reprisal, I would tend not to insult others.  Sony apparently have the same policy. 


  21. Sigvatr says:

    Actually, the British media loves to troll Muslims. It’s not so much about portraying them in a negative light, but more about crappy British tabloid newspapers giving crappy opinions to crappy British people.

  22. Zerodash says:

    The whole LBP recall had very little to do with American Muslims- its about the situation in Europe.  In Europe, people died over a political cartoon, the Spainish train bombing, the London Subway bombings, the film director killed over a documentary, and the ethnic riots in France.

    The American Muslim community doesn’t roll with that kind of B.S. 

  23. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

     I am really surprised about the reaction to this.

    This is just typical Mega Corp behavior. They always cover their asses. If there’s even a HINT of liability or controversy, they scamper for cover. It will happen again.

    It could’ve been over anything. Could’ve been half of a bare butt in some cutscene or cactus plant that resembles a penis or middle finger too much.

  24. DeusPayne says:

    And of course, we always bow down to threats and terrorism, even if it means sacrificing your own ideals to satisfy someone elses. /sarcasm…

  25. DeusPayne says:

    To all the people ‘surprised’ that there’s a sensible muslim person? What the fuck is wrong with you people? Do you say the same about any christian that doesn’t want to bomb an abortion clinic? Or a jewish person who feels that Jesus could be their savior? Or an athiest who doesn’t want to burn down churches?

    For christ sake, this is the exact stereotype that LEADS to problems. Yes, there are nuts out there. Yes, some of them are muslim. But don’t stereotype an ENTIRE FUCKING RELIGEON just because of a minority group. Colin Powell had the best response to people accusing Obama of being Muslim, "so what if he is?". It’s just a religion, not a sign up sheet for mass murderers weekly.

  26. Bigman-K says:

    If more muslims like this were to speak out against their extremists, then people wouldn’t have such a negative view of Islam. Kudos to this guy for having the guts to speak out and i hope there are many more like him. 


    "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  27. Canary Wundaboy says:

    But we all know that if they hadn’t removed it, thousands of angry Muslims would be protesting outside Soy headquarters and shops across the globe, burning Sony products and threating to behead the board, shareholders and consumers for ‘insulting Islam’….

  28. Twin-Skies says:

    I know this may sound somewhat offensive for some, but here goes…

    Oh thank God – It has been a fucking long time since I’ve read about a sensible Muslim moderate who’s willing to call out the irrational ones within their ranks. Thank you, sir – you’ve just made my day!

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  29. Yammo says:

    This is turning out to look like the story of "the man and his donkey"… Where people were telling him to carry the donkey, or carry the things, or let the donkey carry his things…

    There are so many factions of Islam that it’s not even funny. They should all get together and figure out what the hell they want in the first place. Some advocate beating women is allowed by the Qur’an, some say otherwise… some say Freedom of speech is a joke, some say otherwise.

    Let’s just ignore Islam and say whatever we want, like we always have. If some Muslims happen to get upset, too bad for them. I for one, am not going to be secondguessing what a muslim would think of what I say or do. Ever…

  30. Flamespeak says:

    At least the man is making a comment about the hypocritical nature of people excercising their freedom of expression being pissed about others also excercising their freedom of expression.

  31. Austin_Lewis says:

    No other religion (okay, REAL religion) has been able to get things pulled because it doesn’t like the usage.

  32. Vake Xeacons says:

    This guy’s right. If we demand freedom for us, we need to demand it for everyone, whether it ticks us off or not. I wish we all could just turn the other cheek, regardless of religeous affiliation or non-belief. If a game ticks you off, don’t buy it.

  33. MaskedPixelante says:

    And yet they all freaked out over Dio swearing vengeance on their holy book in the ANIME version of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures.

    I’ll never understand stuff like this.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  34. DeusPayne says:

    100% confident. Well then it must be true then huh? Can’t be that you’re just making shit up once people called you out on your original bullshit. Give up while your behind, you sound like an ass.

  35. Geoff says:

    Yeah, because believing 90% of one of the world’s largest religions are angry, reactionist zealots is so rational.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  36. Michael Chandra says:

    And I’m 100% confident 90% of the non-muslims will claim 90% of the muslims are irrational and likely to overreact… just as you have.
    Seriously, stop talking nonsense first, THEN start claiming people overreact when they call bullshit.

    73% of statistics are a lie. 99% of numbers mentioned by people are a lie.

  37. Keith K says:

    When I used the term ‘time-bomb’ that was a metaphor. I in no way insinuated that tens of millions are potential suicide bombers.

    I am 100% confident that tens of millions are irrashional and likely to overreact… just as you have.

  38. Overcast says:

    Thing is, if they didn’t make this move; most likely it would have barely been noticed. But now that they have, it will be the full Streisand Effect in action.

    And so what if there’s a couple lines from the Qur’an – you could go to the libaray and get the same thing, right?

    Silly Stupid.

  39. Geoff says:

    I havn’t a clue why that posted twice.  Sorry GP.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  40. Geoff says:

    Huh, I bet Sony didn’t expect this kind of reaction for removing the content.  It’s a pretty bad knee-jerk reaction on their part.  It’s understandable given the crap they got from the Church of England but one has to wonder how the game got so far into development before they decided to pull the song.

    If the Shoutbox is any indication of what sort of replies may crop up in this article, I’m gonna expect a bunch of ignorant xenophobic ranting from people who know nothing about Islam.  So, in advance; shut the hell up and keep your bigotry to yourself.  Don’t try to paint an entire religion based on the actions of a crazy minority who gets all the media attention.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  41. nighstalker160 says:

    And I wouldn’t say those are "extremist" lines at all.  They basically say "Everyone dies eventually" and "The world will end someday."

    I’m pretty sure those are

    1) Basic, simple facts

    2) Something you find in pretty much ANY religion

    So those are hardly "extremist" statements.

    I know some hard-line Sunni’s think devotional music is a sin, but I also know that many Muslims don’t think devotional music, even using lines from the Qu’ran is a problem.

    This really was Sony just going "woops, we better not even risk offending someone."

    I really think this is only an issue cause of the delay.  If this had occurred during development and didn’t result in a delay I don’t think it would have been a problem.  It’s totally acceptable for Sony to say "Look, we want to make the most money, we don’t even want to risk the possibility of offending someone."

  42. Haggard says:

    The actual reason it might cause offence is because you’re not supposed to mix lines from the Qu’ran with music.

  43. NovaBlack says:

    actually the ironic thing is that the song was sung in arabic.

    So listening to it , unless you speak arabic, you wouldnt have a clue what it says!

    So as far as making them look bad, practically nobody would have noticed.

  44. Nocturne says:

    so what if there’s a couple lines from the Qur’an – you could go to the libaray and get the same thing, right?

    The problem is that it’s set to music which is according to some groups a major "NO-NO". Quite how this fits in that the music is written/performed by a devout Muslim I don’t know other than that parts of the Muslim community seem to be at polar opposites to one another.

  45. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    "Seriously, I’m sick of the Muslim community throwing a bitch fit anytime"

    What the hell are you talking about? Don’t be a freakin’ moron.

    First of all, the article wasn’t about a reaction of "the" Muslim community, but about critizing the reaction of Sony, because they were afraid of the reaction of Muslims. It is basically a condemnation of self-censorship.

    Second of all, there is no such thing as THE Muslim community, just like there is no such thing as THE Christian community. There are multiple communities, each of which can have widely differing points of view about pretty much anything. For example, you wouldn’t probably want to stereotype Christian views based on what Fred Phelps is talking about.

    Third of all, the "bitch fits", as you put it, are usually coming from fundamentalists and/or extremists (Taleban), which by no means represent Islamic beliefs as a whole.

  46. Austin_Lewis says:

    Amen.  Seriously, I’m sick of the Muslim community throwing a bitch fit anytime, God forbid, their holy text or holy music or holy pictures end up somewhere.  They’re almost as bad as scientology, except with the threat of violence instead of lawsuits.

  47. SeanB says:

    The exact lines contained were….

    "Every soul shall have the taste of death" and "All that is on earth will perish."

    Had they left it in there, Islamic groups would have claimed the game "was making them look bad by containing only lines that serve extremists" or something. It’s like how christians get offended when people point out that the bible says that unruly children should be stoned….

  48. CyberSkull says:

    Is the Muslim artist who wrote the song controversial? If not, then I don’t see the point of removing the song.

  49. Geoff says:

    Wow, you’re an idiot.  90%?  Really?  So you’re saying that there are tens of millions of suicide bombs in the making?  Way to pull a number straight out of your ass. 


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  50. Keith K says:

    This guy needs to wake the fuck up….

    We, as western non-muslims, are perfectly aware that we shouldnt have to tip toe around bullshit like this..

    However, THAT IS NOT THE CASE! It is not Sony’s fault that Muslims as a whole are irrashional time-bombs. It is not Sony’s fault that 90% of the muslim population would not let this completely innocent act slide. It is not our fault, as western non-muslims, that the other 10% have to be thrown in with that irrashional 90%.

    Stop waving your finger at those of us who have no control over the situation, but to do our best to keep such things from boiling over. Start waving your finger at that 90%.

    Jesus Christ.. you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

    In this case, it’s just better if you don’t.

  51. sqlrob says:

    /me applauds. Someone that gets it.

    It’s a shame it seems so rare.

    "Without demolishing religious schools (madrassahs) and minarets and without abandoning the beliefs and ideas of the medieval age, restriction in thoughts and pains in conscience will not end. Without understanding that unbelief is a kind of religion, and that conservative religious belief a kind of disbelief, and without showing tolerance to opposite ideas, one cannot succeed. Those who look for the truth will accomplish the mission." – Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

    That was said back in the 13th century.


  52. squigs says:

    This is nothing special about Islam. 

    It’s a kids’ game froma major publisher.  Sony has people to ensure this will offend nobody!  You will find no ethnic stereotypes, no religious imagary, no innuendo no matter how tame, no mistreatment of anything representative of a nation, nothing that might offend any superstition, nothing that might be considered remotely racist or sexist, nothing that violates religious doctrine of any religion, and nothing advocating violence. The rules aren’t that strict for adult games like Fall Of Man, but for a PEGI "7 years+" game, the game will not be released if it violates any of the above rules.  This is Sony obeying their own publishing requirements. 

    The "complaint" wasn’t a complaint but an observation from a beta tester. 

    A line from the Quar’an that violates the religious code, potentially portrays Islam in a negative light and advocates violence, breaches at least three of these rules. 

    This is nothing special about Islam.  They’d do the same for any culture out of respect for everyone.  They have the right to speech that may offend.  This does not give them any obligation to offend.  Kudos to Sony for showing respect. 


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