Sony can’t catch a break. Criticized by Muslim group for LBP song removal.

After being sued by the Church of England over the appearance of Manchester Cathedral in the hit FPS Resistance: Fall of Man it’s understandable that Sony would go out of its way to avoid offending religious sensibilities. So when a post showed up in the official European Playstation forums pointing out that a song in the soundtrack for LittleBigPlanet contained verses from the Qur’an and thusly could be considered offensive to Muslims, they opted to err on the side of caution and delay the launch of the game so it could be removed. Now they’re being criticized by a different Muslim group over that decision:

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., president of the non-profit American Islamic Forum for Democracy told Edge on Monday, “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.”

Jasser, who has also appeared on CNN, in the Washington Times and National Review, said that not only does the First Amendment support freedom of expression, but Mohammed also “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.”

[…] Jasser said that the demand to censor, as well as Sony’s willingness to bend at the request, is counterproductive to freedom of 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“…To demand that [the game] be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the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.”

Jasser added, “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.”

He still said that he does not endorse the use of Koranic verses in non-educational videogames, calling the literature “the words of God.”

But he took a clear stance in upholding First Amendment rights.

“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,” Jasser said.

Needless to say, I agree with him. I can totally understand why Sony opted to play it safe, but I still think they should have kept the song. I also think we need more Muslims standing up and saying things like Mr. Jasser here.

7 thoughts on “Sony can’t catch a break. Criticized by Muslim group for LBP song removal.

  1. I don’t think that Sony pulling the song was as much about caving to demands of some fringe group as much as it was they were unaware that such content was in the game. At the end of the day they didn’t want the game to have something that could be considered religiously offensive in it. Wrong audience and all that.

    I understand what Dr. Jasser is saying, but I think he’s missing the motive behind what Sony is doing.

    That said, I do agree that it is nice to hear a member of what I assume to be the more sensible majority speaking up and getting coverage for it. I’m really tired of the Muslims are our enemies rhetoric going around these days. It is unfair to a lot of good citizens in our country, and good people the world over.

  2. 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.

    Oh yes they can.

    AIFD stands against any form of censorship in the marketplace of ideas whether imposed by government or by corporations

    Sometimes self imposed “censorship” is just politeness, which I think is the case here.

  3. I’m not going to second-guess Sony’s motives, but “offensive to Muslims” is already something of a joke. If it were a joke—the threat of violence is part and parcel of that phrase’s connotations.

  4. Muslim relations can be such a catch 22 at times.  They damn you if you don’t, they damn you if they do.  Nice to see a response like this, however, they don’t seem to be calling the shots in world affairs these days.

  5. While its refreshing to hear this opinion ,many muslims must agree with it – such a pity they dont speak up more often.

  6. 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.”

    That is a load of camel manure. He killed the men, took their wives and daughters as part of his harem.

    I think corporations should be more aware of anything they put it. Using religious themes in their work should be stopped, why would you use that? You are copying one work of fiction and adding it to your own?

    They don’t remember the mohammed cartoons.

  7. I am a muslim an di say this man is right we cannot get offended by the opinions of others so long as they do not attack us openly with a stick or agun or rip off our hijabs!!! their freedom to swing their fists end at the face of anothers face!! same with us and many muslims do speak out against sensorships pointed at them its just that the media wont play it when we do speak out!! its not news if we preach peace and humanity when they can go to the 5% that are violent and get rateings thats 5% of 1.6 billion muslims world wide!! As for Muhammad (peace and blessinghs be upon him) he was a very peaceful man and was attacked for 15 years for his faith before he was given the ok to fight back!! and he fought only the men ion aset battle ground agreed upon by the others some women fought latter on but thats called free choice!!! plwease learn the cotrrect history and not the crusaiders versions and those bent on telling you islam is spread by the sword. I converted to islam and it was my own free choice based on facts that i learned by actually doing research and not listening to th emedia or others bent on makeing me biased one way otr the other!!
    helema alkaabi

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