Massacre the Muslims, electronically!

A video game in which the player is required to kill all Muslims to get to Osama Bin Laden, and ultimately God, has caused an uproar in the Muslim world.
shot of game.jpg

BEIRUT, September 18, 2008 (AL-AKHBAR) – "The United States of America has declared war on Islam! Take control of the American hero, and wipe out the Muslim race with an arsenal of the world's most destructive weapons!"

With this phrase, the gaming website Muslim Massacre welcomes you. It is a website dedicated to a new electronic game which can be downloaded for free online. As the website explains, it's a game of "modern religious genocide." Surfers are faced with another sentence urging them to "not be a liberal pussy, download this now".

The image of the hero is reminiscent of the Rambo, who was played by Silvester Stalone. He's wearing a sleeveless shirt showing his big muscles, with a cigarette in his mouth, and anger shows on his face.

The game was developed last January but did not become popular until recently when bloggers and website owners started linking to the game's site, thus contributing to its popularity. 

The game opens with a scene in which the American hero parachutes into Islamic Middle Eastern countries, armed with an automatic rifle and grenade launcher to achieve his goal of killing as many Arabs as possible.

The player meets many Arabs, some wearing a "terrorist outfit", i.e. traditional Islamic dress, while others sport ordinary clothes. In his search to find and kill Osama Bin Laden, the player massacres all Muslims he faces, including women and children.

At one stage, he finds Bin Laden and kills him, before proceeding to kill the Prophet Muhammad, and at the end, killing God himself, as if he is the God of the Muslims only. 

The game requires the players not to leave any Muslims alive. 

Since its launch, the game had caused outraged among Islamic organizations, particularly in Britain.

The British Ramadan youth organization said the game encourages killing Muslims and glorifies violence against them. It has asked those in charge of the server hosting the game's website to block it. A spokesperson for the organization confirmed it sent a letter about the game to the British government.

The game developer on the other hand, Eric Vaugh, a programmer who calls himself sigvatr on his website, has said the game is meant to be "funny and fun".

Vaugh told another website that the game is popular with a large number of people because they see it as dealing with a legitimate issue. He added that everyone has the right to believe what they want. He also said he had a lot of fun developing the game.

Following the major objections to the game, Vaugh assured he did not create the Muslim characters in the game based on real Muslims. He stressed that the game's objective is "to destroy all prejudice, metaphorically, about Muslims and Islam." 

Some gaming experts have said the game can also be seen as ridiculing American foreign policy.

This article was republished with permission from Al-Akhbar, Lebanon.