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.
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 To demand that [the game] be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the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, gamesindustry.biz reports that copies of the unedited LBP are fetching as much as $249 on Ebay. Hmmm...where did I put that review copy?