Alright guys I'll make this as sensitive and appropriate as possible. We've all read about LBP delay, caused by a Qu'ran reference in the song "Tapha Niang" from the 2006 album Boulevard de l'Independance by Grammy award-winning Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté". My first reaction was that the quote from the Qu'ran was offensive to English speaking territories and must be about God, or something specifically sensitive. This seems to not be the case as the 2 sentences specifically quote some apocalyptic type of material (that can be found in most holy books). Specifically:
"كل نفس ذائقة الموت" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').
"كل من عليها فان" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').
So we can take this whatever way we want, and the media seems to be focusing on the lyrics up above as the reason the game has been delayed, but this is misleading. Gamasutra reports the incident started on a Muslim gaming community message board. Saying,
"I asked many of my friends online and offline and they heard the exact same thing that I heard easily when I played that part of the track. Certain Arabic hardcore gaming forums are already discussing this, so we decided to take action by emailing you before this spreads to mainstream attention.
We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending. We hope you would remove that track from the game immediately via an online patch, and make sure that all future shipments of the game disk do not contain it."
Basically, the offense is the use of the Qu'ran in music (being mixed, etc) is offensive to a small amount of Muslims who are considered by most other Muslims as a little extreme in what rules they follow.
Seeking to put this all together I spoke to a friend of mine, a Muslim woman who helped me make some sense of this all.
I linked her to several stories, and filled her in on all the details, she first responded "I don't understand, what's the problem". I explained that perhaps the lyrics were a bit sensitive to English territories (of course this is silly) and she said "i have no idea
there are tons of verses like that." Shortly after I found the article explaining the real reason, and asked her about the offense to Muslims, she said "yes
its not allowed. but, only extremist folks follow that rule but it only takes a few ignorant people to ruin everything." Obviously the very people who were offended have caused a new problem, media attention to the lyrics, and ignorant behavior from the internet community. Something they probably didn't want, which makes all of this the more pointless.
Now to the reason I sat down and took time to talk to everyone. Please, I'm begging the Destructoid Community, the gaming community, to have respect and maturity over this matter. I've already read a lot of offensive material on this site, and every other gaming site regarding Muslim people, and religion in general. I'm not a religious person, and I don't want to start a debate that leads into a quarrel about personal beliefs. I do want to plead for people to realize that a few extremist people do no smear an entire group of people. I beg everyone to be mindful of others, and to take the anger of disappointment and use it constructively instead of bashing groups of people who are on the same side as you.
While this is terribly disappointing, everyone should breath a sigh of relief! Why? Because this month is a gaming cluster bomb of enjoyment and this is one less game I have to worry about for a few weeks. This week alone so many exciting releases for us to play instead, here is a list of some exciting games coming out this week and next, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Rock Band 2 for PS3, Fallout 3 for PC, Dead Space, Bioshock for PS3, Star Ocean for PSP, Eternal Sonata for PS3, Fable II for 360, and FarCry 2 for PC.
So everyone calm down, be respectful, and go enjoy some of the great games we have to choose from just this upcoming week alone. We are lucky to have so many great choices this week, and just because the truly amazing Little Big Planet will not be in our hands doesn't mean we can't have some fun anyway.
Although it would be nice if Media Molecule released an open beta to calm the hordes of people who are disappointed by this announcement, just to tide us over :D
Please go out with respect, it's very easy to be offensive when we don't mean to, and please encourage mature behavior. We all represent the gaming community when we're posting on gaming sites, make us proud.