Modern Warfare Map Removed After Muslims Complain

Over the last few days I have been receiving messages about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  Apparently the game shows a hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammed) on the picture frame in the bathroom. This features in the multiplayer maps, Favela. 


The Arabic script said “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty”.  Muslims deem it offensive to have religious text in a bathroom.   The paintings having been brought to Activision and Infinity Ward’s attention, the map has been removed until it can be edited.


Muslim gamers complained and spread the news via social media. 


An Activision representative told the gaming website Kotaku:
We apologize to anyone who found this image offensive. Please be assured we were unaware of this issue and that there was no intent to offend. We are working as quickly as possible to remove this image and any other similar ones we may find from our various game libraries.

We are urgently working to release a Title Update to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 3. We are also working to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 2 through a separate Title Update. Until the TU is ready, we have removed the Favella multiplayer map from online rotation.

Activision and our development studios are respectful of diverse cultures and religious beliefs, and sensitive to concerns raised by its loyal game players. We thank our fans for bringing this to our attention.

Extradition: A failure for us all

Babar Ahmad

Babar Ahmad

The decision to extradite Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad is only one in a long line of subservient decisions that the UK judiciary has taken to please the US.

These two men have languished in prison, without charge, without an end in sight, for 6 and 8 years respectively.

Their families going through a difficult and emotional time, to which the film ‘Extradition’ is testimony.

There are many people that will deride the British judiciary and politicians for allowing this to happen to Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad. The one-sided UK-US 2003 extradition treaty means that people who cannot be charged here can face incarceration in American Supermax prisons for at least four years as they await trial.

The question that has been asked is, if there is enough evidence to charge these men then why not put them on trial in the UK?

The answer is simple, there simply is not enough evidence.

Why then this debacle, and grotesque charade?

In the case of Babar Ahmad the Metropolitan police handed over evidence to the FBI whilst their own case was collapsing due to a lack of evidence.

Substantial responsibility also falls on Muslim ‘leaders’ and ‘notables’. For all their efforts in trying to please the establishment and pump out their one-sided ‘integration’ paradigm message, today’s decision has been a slap in the face for them all.

Muslim magazines, publications and media have depoliticised themselves.

Rather than awakening and increasing the Muslim consciousness they have been complicit in keeping them docile and compliant.  Flicking through Muslim magazine pages all I see is fashion tips, cooking instructions and the odd reference to some wishy washy Muslim individual that has managed to integrate to the extent that they can now wear their hijab in a pub and grow a beard like a biker- not at the same time of course.

For a community that has been under attack since 9/11 the response from the educated and former activists has been surprisingly muted.

Rather than assert themselves they have fallen over themselves to get government grants and funds to ‘de-radicalise’ their own communities without looking at the fine print.

De-radicalisation has meant de-politicisation.

Muslims are not supposed to protest, demonstrate, object or stand up. They are expected to tow the mainstream line and accept the labels handed down to them.

Now even they will be afraid that this injustice will spread wider and further having implications for all, not just Muslims.

Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan and even Abu Hamza have rights.

The demonization of Abu Hamza has clouded the entire extradition process in the media. Abu Hamza, although outspoken, vociferous and vilified by the media has been used to cover up the injustice that has taken place here. It is easy to hate a man with an eye patch and a hook, a man who does not fit the normal British ‘look’, whilst forgetting that he has rights just like any other citizen. To compromise on these rights just because we do not agree with his views, dislike him as an individual or because he does not fit our version of ‘British’ is to compromise our principles of justice and equality as a society and will lead us down a slippery road that will end in further injustices.

Those in the establishment that are always fearful of radicalisation in the Muslim community must realise that outcomes like this dreadful decision further alienate communities and makes Muslims feel like they do not have a voice in Britain – 150,000 people signed a petition asking for Babar Ahmad to be tried in the UK.

They might be cowed into acquiescence through fear, or they may be repoliticised or radicalised in the good old fashioned way.

There may also be just a few who see all the avenues of legitimate protest, interaction and campaign, be they political or through the legal system, closed off and decide to take rather different action – the antithesis to everything this security discourse superficially claims to be tackling.

As for the fashion loving, docile and cup cake cooking Muslims; carry on flicking through your lifestyle magazine pages and picking out new colours for you headscarves and designer prayer beads- the rest of us will continue to speak out when people are taken away. Until, at least, they come for us.

Islamic film protests: a fundamental rift between the Muslim world and the West

A debate I was involved in on the Voice of Russia.

This studio discussion is on the protests that have spread across the Muslim world over a US made video insulting the prophet Muhammad.

Those protests have now been going on for 10 days. The first began in Cairo, then the unrest spread to Libya. That cost the US ambassador Christopher Stevens his life.

Protests engulfed Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia.

More violent scenes have been reported in Pakistan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Exacerbating the anger is the publication in a French satirical magazine of cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad.

So are we witnessing a fundamental rift between the West and its values, which says free speech is paramount, and the Islamic world which says insults against religion should not be tolerated?

VOR’s Daniel Cinna discusses this with Charlie Wolf, American broadcaster who blogs for the Daily Mail; Rodney Shakespeare, co-founder of the Global Justice Movement; Assed Baig, a freelance journalist and film maker; Dr Robert Barnidge, Professor of Law at the University of Reading.