Written By: Nicholas Coates, Associate
Article Date: September 15, 2008
possible, should you so desire, to download a video game called "Muslim
Massacre" from the internet. Although it is common enough for video
games to exploit the virtues of killing as many people as possible, the
objective of this particular video game takes on a particularly nasty
twist, and at a time when relations between Muslims and others are
it be mere coincidence that the game was released on the internet during
the month of Ramadan? I think not. Was it a deliberate action to
coincide with the anniversary of 9/11? Most likely.
objective of the game, so I am informed (for I confess I have not and
will not visit the site), is for an American soldier, parachuted into
the Middle East and armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher, to
kill as many Arabs as possible - some dressed as terrorists, others
Players compete through various levels until ultimately they take on
Osama Bin Laden and then certain revered religious entities.
sick programmer who devised the game, a freelancer known as Sigvatr,
claims it is "just a game where you blow the gently caress [slang for a
common swear word] out of Arabs".
is it with such persons that they need to exacerbate an already
sensitive situation? There are still many Muslims who are still smarting
over the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) published in a Danish
newspaper originally, but subsequently picked up by other "daring" and
these people no understanding of what Islam means to Muslims. I think
the answer is "obviously not", which is a shame because a some
comprehension of Islam would go a long way to better appreciation of
what motivates more than a billion (and increasing) Muslims around the
often said that as fast as Islam is spreading globally, so Christianity
Obviously there are a number of reasons for the depreciation, but I
suspect one is that many Christians have for years followed their
religious beliefs in a very casual manner, often jokingly being called a
"four-wheeled church goers". (It is at christenings, weddings and
funerals, where a person is always taken to church in a four-wheeled
is especially noticeable in Britain, where church attendance is at all
all-time low and religion plays an insignificant role in people's lives.
because of this causal attitude towards religion that many people fail
to grasp the major role Islam has in the lives of Muslims. The Quran
teaches Muslims conduct in every aspect of their lives. Christianity
does not have such strictures, which is possibly why it is treated by
some in such a light-hearted way.
should here concede there are many branches of the Christian faith that
do take their religion very seriously - Evangelists for example, but
there are others - but they are known on occasion to have strongly
contentious arguments against Islam, rather than seeking common ground.
in the light of this that the possibility arises that the video game
becomes popular with certain sections of society, for they will look
upon it as "just another game".
isn't. It is a sure-fire way to incite hatred against ones fellow
persons of a particular religious persuasion. It is invidious in its
concept and it is invidious that it is available to everyone on the
internet. But apparently there is nothing that can be done to have it
British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) can classify films and DVDs
by certifying a viewing age and, sometimes will ban them, but the BBFC
has no legal control over the internet. It needs a physical product it
can put a sticker on.
programmer of such a game is in the UK, there could be a possibility of
intervention under obscenity or race hatred laws. Otherwise nothing can
be done by them if, as it would seem in this instance, it is produced
outside the UK.
BBFC, the games industry and the UK Department for Culture, Media and
Sport are supporting a new voluntary regulation where producers submit
internet games to the BBFC for official age rating. But people like of
Sigvatr are unlikely to do that. Video games like "Muslim Massacre" call
for greater control of the internet.
Freedom of speech is all very well, but only within certain limits, and
that includes not being offensive to race or religion.