PS3 News: Muslim Group President Speaks Out On LBP Koran Fiasco - PS3 News

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Muslim Group President Speaks Out On LBP Koran Fiasco

It's a worldwide headline now: Sony was forced to delay LittleBigPlanet due to particular Koran expressions found in one of the game's background songs. Clearly, this was a move to avoid offending those of the Muslim faith.

However, a clear-minded and logical argument has come from the president of the non-profit American Islamic Forum for Democracy, M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. In a recent interview with Edge, Jasser said that "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." He added that the "free market" allows those who may be offended by the content in question to simply avoid purchasing the game, which is of course, a common cry from those who believe everyone is a little too sensitive. Jasser appeared on CNN and in the Washington Times to make his comments known, and he referred to the First Amendment several times. Furthermore, the song is performed by Toumani Diabate, who is supposedly a "devout Muslim," although several forumites around the Internet claimed his usage of Koran expressions was "deeply offending."

Evidently, this is what caused Sony to issue the worldwide recall for the game. But Jasser is not only unhappy at his fellow Muslims' response to the content, but he also doesn't condone what Sony did to address the issue. He said this whole thing is "counterproductive to free speech."

"...to demand that [the game] be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the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."

However, he reminds us he's not necessarily endorsing the use of Koranic versus in non-educational games, so that's important to understand. It's merely the situation, and Jasser wishes to completely support First Amendment rights. In the end, he said- "AIFD stands against any form of censorship in the marketplace of ideas whether imposed by government or by corporations intimidated by the response of militants or those with an inappropriately sensitive level of political correctness." We're not supposed to have an opinion on something like this, but we gotta say...we like this guy.

Related Game(s): LittleBigPlanet

10/21/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (39 posts)

SerendipityDeus
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 11:16:22 AM
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Now if only evryone else would act like this

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crapreviews
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 11:19:19 AM
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see SONY. you messed up and a MUSLIM is telling you you did.

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Orvisman
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 12:51:43 PM

Please! Sony didn't mess up. All Sony is guilty of doing is being TOO oversensitive and TOO PC, much like most multinational corporations.

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dbyzforce
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:16:37 PM

Sony is worried not about the ordinary Muslims being offended.Manzoor Moghal, from the Muslim Forum think-tank, who explained that words from the Koran should not be set to music because the words are seen to have come directly from God. So I am assuming some not all Muslims do find the song offensive.They are also worried about the extremist Muslim groups.

Last edited by dbyzforce on 10/21/2008 5:33:41 PM

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BeezleDrop
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 11:21:15 AM
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A much more mature way to address the concerns of this censorship problem. A much BETTER way.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 11:37:48 AM
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Now why dont they just release an apology note, and say go get your games today guys, we are sorry. Late April fools joke, hehe, happy Halloween. Damnit I want this game so bad. :(

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aaronisbla
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 11:59:31 AM
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Finally, someone with some damn sense. This guy makes an VERY valid point that no muslim gamer ( tatsujin, acetatsujin ) can deny or argue about.

bottom line is that sony caved in under pressure when there really wasn't an issue to begin with. If you were deeply offended, and i mean really offended, like the guy said, you had the option of not purchasing this game or ignore it. But changing the game just to satisfy a group of people was wrong, no matter which way you spin it, respect or not. In a way thats kinda forcing your beliefs on others

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Aftab
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 12:58:41 PM

I'll deny it, alright. What people are failing to understand is this wasn't about censorship, or a violation of a right such as free speech. MM is based in England where they have a large and crowded population of different peoples and especially the young volatile crowd who are willing to fill the streets for shits and giggles. MM made a business move. What speaker failed to mention is that even here, there are limits to free speech. Slander is one example mentioned in the Constitution as violation of the federal law. Another one: espionage. All he had to show was that these were clearly not done, and hence could not have been considered an offense and worthy of censorship, instead of disingenuously blaming a lot of people who had no part in how this turned out, just so he can step in a very dull spotlight.

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www
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 3:37:13 PM

There Aftab goes.......listen to the man!

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aaronisbla
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 12:40:26 AM

i understand what you are saying, but my point still stands. Just because one group of people feel offended by a game doesn't mean all should "suffer" ( please note i use the word suffer very lightly, as a 6 day delay is minor ), it means either they should let it go, or don't buy it if it truly offends them.

My point is, there will be certain things that goes against your way of life and its not always gonna be possible to get your way like this situation

All this being said, i think it was the right thing to do from a business perspective.

Last edited by aaronisbla on 10/22/2008 12:41:28 AM

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Aftab
Thursday, October 23, 2008 @ 9:06:01 AM

Your point would be pertinent if it were the "Muslim Gamers", as you put it, who had barred you from the game, but that is not the case. And I'm surprised as a "Black Gamer", you'd be bring this stuff up. It's Usually spoiled, white kids who were forced to go to CCD, and feel they have to attack anything having to do with God, who are the ones fussing in this kind of way.

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aaronisbla
Friday, October 24, 2008 @ 12:06:25 AM

Listen, you and especially tatsujin have taken my muslim gamers statement out of context i believe. Not once have i said something about muslims barring me from the game

All i meant by it is that as a muslim, and as a gamer, which you guys say you are, you have to admit he has a great point.

Not sure what being black has to do with anything, all im saying is that i agree with what Jasser said - "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." I'm sorry if you have a hard time excepting this

Like i said, its not that im so pissed about the game being delayed as it gives me more time to spend with Farcry 2 before little big planet hits store shelves. it's the censorship i have a problem with. But whats done is done, it will sell even better now because of this incident

I know it was asked before but where were the upset people when this song came out originally? Or was it because he wasn't well known?

Still wondering what me being black has anything to do with anything in this topic...

Last edited by aaronisbla on 10/24/2008 12:09:17 AM

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Aftab
Friday, October 24, 2008 @ 9:31:13 PM

Aaron, brother, I am glad you are wondering, because that is where my point is at. I said "Black Gamer" so you know just as being irrelevantly categorized as that, it is a wicked attempt in the same way to scape goat people by saying Muslims do this or that. You say I have taken your statement out of context. But I gave you the benefit of the doubt, until I read your comments thereafter continuing in saying Muslims doing this and that.

And about censorship, I persist, it would be censorship if "Muslims" stopped the game from being released, but it wasn't. If I make a statement, and take it back, it cannot be called censorship unless someone other than myself made me repeal the statement. In the same way, MM delayed their own game.

By the way, just so you know, I didn't have a problem with the way the game was.

And regarding the mentioned president of a group, I already showed how the point he made was irrelvant, because it wasn't Muslims who censored the game. Moreover, the dude was being an "Uncle Tom". "Uncle Tom" steps on an unheard people, often his own, just so that he can be accepted by another. That disgusts me, intensely.

Last edited by Aftab on 10/24/2008 9:34:52 PM

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aaronisbla
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 @ 12:56:56 AM

Although this response is late, just know Aftab that I never said muslim gamers act a certain way or do things certain ways. If you can point out where you thought i said that, do it.

All i said was the guy has a great point and no muslim gamer can deny that. This isn't me saying all muslim gamers act the same, so maybe i should have clarified that.

As far as him being an Uncle Tom, sorry im not buying that in this situation. He clearly disagrees with using Quran in music and the like. Him saying this doesn't make him an uncle tom at all.

Last edited by aaronisbla on 11/12/2008 12:57:33 AM

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Sir Shak
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 12:23:20 PM
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man this game is gonna beat all sales records after it appeared in news all over the world

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Socrateos
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 12:38:43 PM
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"American Islamic Forum for Democracy" cannot really be taken to be a typical opinion of Muslims.

It is a sound business decision to avoid a risk that is not worthy to take.

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jvd
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 12:41:30 PM
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Thats just another way to boost up sale. I bet the Sony peeps were just looking a way to make headlines. I don't think there is anything offensive having some Quranic verses on it. Whats the big deal.
But anyways clever move for sony to boost up its sale and make headlines.

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Dan
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 12:49:45 PM
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You do know that since the release was so close, at least most (if not all) of the discs were probably already dispatched to stores. Returning them and releasing new ones, will be costing Sony quite a bit.

Maybe it is worth it for being on headlines, but it wasn't a free way to do it. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 1:03:10 PM
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A refreshing take, but maybe he also wanted to say "please don't blame all Muslims for this turn of events." Hopefully the extra press coverage will help cover the destruction of so many discs at any rate.

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Arvis
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 1:18:34 PM
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I'm pretty certain no game discs were destroyed over this issue. I am under the impression that they were simply releasing a patch to disable the offending track.

As for whether or not Sony was "wrong" or "right" in it's actions, I suggest we all try to wear Sony's shoes. Selling consumer goods in almost every major country in the world gives you a different perspective than some average Joe would have. Being sensitive to even small cultural/ethnic/religious issues is a must to maintain a good business name worldwide. That being said, I still agree with this article in general.

-Arvis

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 12:52:27 PM

Just as a side note...your avatar rules the school. Cookie for you. ;)

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JPBooch
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 2:30:45 PM
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I'm sure there were a lot of cost involved in the recall, distribution and materials alike. I'm disappointed in the way it all has panned out and Sony sure does take a hit on it. Let's hope the extra publicity helps Sony and th game is a bigger hit than it already is.

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snglbck26
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 2:33:15 PM
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In my opinion Sony did what they had to do in a crazy world where people get offended by the slightest thing.

I'm sure it made business sense for them and although the game was delayed a week those that want it are still going to buy it. Also the additional exposure LBP has gotten around the world will probably bring tens of thousands of additional sales(if not more) they never would have realized had this not happened. I'm sure this has made many more people curious as to what this game is all about.

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LightShow
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 3:07:43 PM
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Word. I like this guy as well.

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Kiengo
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 3:09:01 PM
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A level head can solve a lot of problems very quickly, huh?

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Tatsujin
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 3:39:14 PM
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Please don't throw out my name, or AceTatsujin's name out there. We simply wrote down what we were taught in our religion. Infact, I wrote down I didn't even notice, and don't really care too much for it. Obviously, you only see what you want too see in other peoples' posts, which is fine, but don't ever through anyones name out there... Especially in a scenario like this. Because what we believe, and what we were taught, is what we will stick with. Im glade Sony took this step... and I don't care if the greatest Shaiqck (Muslim Priest) came to my front door and said I was wrong, what I was taught and what I read from the Quran and it's teachings are what im sticking with...

Careless of what anyone says.

On another note, I do agree with First Amendment rights. And I do agree with this guy Jasser. Im all for Free Speech (Etc), but there are others that arn't. So, Sony taking this step is the right way to go.

Please, this time read everything I write before making you're smart ass comments.

Last edited by Tatsujin on 10/21/2008 3:43:34 PM

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LightShow
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:47:42 PM

I know Tatsujin was the japanese name for a series of shooter games, but does it have anything to do with islam?

both you and Ace are muslim, so I was just wondering if it was a coincidence or not.

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Tatsujin
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 10:25:22 PM

Brothers, lol... And Tatsujin is his name, I kinda stole it on here :P

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aaronisbla
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 12:45:57 AM

I threw your name out there simply because you, him and one other guy were outspoken about the issue. if you feel offended by me using your name and his, so be it, i don't care one way or the other and I'd do it again if the situation called for it.

Don't take it personally though. I'm not sure how my remark was a smart ass comment, its not like i attacked your faith. All i said was muslim gamers like yourself. trust me, i read your comments carefully. You are a gamer correct? You say you are muslim right? So whats the big deal when i said muslim gamers like yourself?

The funny thing is is we actually agree with each other to a certain degree, but your hotheadedness might not let you see that. I think it was the right thing to do but only from a business perspective for 2 reasons. 1- they don't want to alienate any potential consumers, especially overseas. 2- it has generated even more buzz about the game. Any buzz is good, bad or good.

next time, don't be so quick to get angry, you might notice you are getting angry over nothing

Last edited by aaronisbla on 10/22/2008 12:58:22 AM

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 4:02:31 PM
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Maybe Muslims won't be outraged by the lines from the Koran being in a song in a game.
But, Sony is scared, and rightly so. Fatwah's for writing stories and riots and death threats for a cartoon. Who wouldn't be scared to use their right to free speech and expression?
Religion has a long history of violently enforcing a horrible censorship. Now, it's even defended by some in the name of political correctness.
Faith is the absence of logic and reason. Is it any wonder that so many religious people act like lunatics? A mad man is put in a padded cell, but many mad men are put in a church.
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." - Nietzsche

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LightShow
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:43:36 PM

=/ its a shame thats your opinion on faith. If logic and reason ruled the world, We'd all be robots. sometimes irrationality is the way to go.

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Aftab
Thursday, October 23, 2008 @ 9:25:12 AM

I tell you what, PoetRaziel, why don't you go to the Bronx, or Brooklyn, or Phillie, and tell some brotha what you think about his mama, see what happens, then complain about your right for "free expression".

And it is humans who have a history violence, with or without religion.

Regarding Nietzche, faith is proved to oneself after experiencing it for oneself, not by ridiculing others and spending your whole life doing so just because you were forced as a kid to go to church.

Last edited by Aftab on 10/23/2008 9:25:40 AM

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aaronisbla
Friday, October 24, 2008 @ 12:14:37 AM

i honestly don't get why some state how violent humans are because of religion. I'm quite sure that if religion was absent in today's society, there would still be violent wars.

Its a part of human nature unfortunately. If it wasn't religion, trust me, it would be other stuff, look around razel, some many wars are being fought and not because of religion.

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shaydey77
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:02:33 PM
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What i dont understand is why sony didnt just realease an online patch..i guess its because not everyone is online..
In future though i think that games should be released regardless of religion. If all games are judged to suit each religion we would end up with very little to no games at all.
Well i guess customizable soundtracks for LBP levels is now out of the question...might offend someone yet again!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:26:53 PM
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I wonder just how many people are going to make levels which mock this very event?

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LightShow
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:43:57 PM

Me!

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infekt
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 9:39:54 PM

@LightShow: Nice.. (sarcasm)

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Wage SLAVES
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 7:58:07 PM
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Talk about a sticky Catch-22!

I think the whole point of the game is online sharing so a patch would have sufficed!

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infekt
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 9:37:08 PM
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Honestly, this "fiasco" is all to sell more units of the game. Media will always blow P.C. out of context if it hinders their freedom of speech right. Yeah, yeah. I've heard it a million times before. I still think that Sony did a good thing here folks. Its about respecting the minorities too, you know.

Last edited by infekt on 10/21/2008 9:37:20 PM

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