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Sony Entertainment Games News

LittleBigPlanet Delayed Due To Qur'an-Sampling Audio 995

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the always-check-your-sources dept.
Several readers have pointed out that Sony's much-awaited LittleBigPlanet has hit a snag and will be delayed worldwide. The delay came after it was discovered that a song licensed for use in the soundtrack contained audio samples from the Qur'an. All advanced copies sent to retailers for the target release of October 21 in North America, 22 in PAL territories, and 24 in the UK and Ireland, have been recalled. "The post, by user 'Solid08', indicates of the specific references in the composition: 'In the 18th second: "kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: "Every soul shall have the taste of death' ... almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "kollo man alaiha fan", literally: "All that is on earth will perish."'"
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LittleBigPlanet Delayed Due To Qur'an-Sampling Audio

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  • Peace (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:22PM (#25416361)

    A religion of peace...

  • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DanTheManMS (1039636) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:31PM (#25416503)

    So what if it has that there?

    Perhaps they merely do not wish to anger potential customers now that it's been discovered and publicized. This isn't the first time it's happened or anything. For example, look at Zelda Ocarina of Time: original versions of the cartridge contained Muslim chanting in the background of the fire temple music, which was taken out of later copies. Later re-releases of the game on the Gamecube also changed some symbols in-game that resembled the crescent moon. No real reason to remove these things other than to prevent conflicts among the audience.

  • by eln (21727) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:34PM (#25416563) Homepage

    Why would reproducing a work that has long since been in the public domain be a problem? If it is, hundreds of publishers are in deep shit.

    From what the article says, it seems some Muslims got offended at their holy scriptures being put to music. So, Sony is bowing to a few fundamentalist Muslims to keep from generating any bad press about how they offend Islam or whatever.

    Personally, I think if they're going to start bowing down to any fringe group that complains on the Internet, they're going to have a hard time releasing any games ever again.

    People are so scared of "terrorists", and associate Islam so closely with those terrorists, that they are scared to death of offending anyone that calls themselves a Muslim. This just makes it much easier for the radical wing of Islam to not only be heard, but to wield influence out of proportion with their numbers. Of course, you could argue the same thing has been done with regard to the more radical wings of Christianity in other spheres as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:37PM (#25416633)
    Why is anything accosiated with religion soo taboo, is it really that big of a deal?! I for one am sick of tip toeing around for fear that something simple and innocuous will start a holy war
  • by a whoabot (706122) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:39PM (#25416663)

    Eno and Byrne had a song called with Quran verses in the 80's and they were told by some imam that it was blasphemy to put the words of god to "grooves" (Byrne's word I think), so they took the song off the album.

  • Re:Uh Oh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moryath (553296) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:40PM (#25416679)

    Delayed PS3 game + angry gamers + Anon. internet forums + people who've actually studied Islam as opposed to trolls who don't know shit about it but flame about people "misunderstanding it" anyways = A lot of wasted /. Moderator points slaying trolls.

    There. Fixed that for you.

    Now go do some research on Islam. Here's a reading list for you:

    #1 - Koran.
    #2 - Hadith. Read both the Sunni and Shi'a preferred sets. For extra credit, check into other schools that have their own "authoritative" sets.
    #3 - Read up on the various fatwa that are considered "core" to belief, or to interpretation, by each of the major branches.

    NOW come back and tell me you've actually studied it, in depth, before declaring it a "religion of peace." Because it is most definitively not one, unless you believe that slavery, definitive tiers of haves and have-nots based on who's a member of the official state religion, definitive tiers of haves and have-nots based on which genitalia you were born with, and an admonition to subjugate, enslave, or otherwise wipe out anyone who doesn't believe in the state-sponsored religion can actually be a "religion of peace."

  • Re:Peace (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:48PM (#25416825)

    "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children." (Leviticus 26:22)

    "Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourself every girl who has never slept with a man." (Numbers 31:17-18)

    "The Lord commands: "... slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women" (Ezechial 9:4-6)

    "When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves." (Deuteronomy 20:13-14)

    "You will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you." (Deuteronomy 28:53)

    "The Lord said to Joshua [...] 'you are to hamstring their horses.' " (Exceedingly cruel.) (Joshua 11:6)

    "... Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword and; also the women and little ones.... every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall utterly destroy." (Judges 21:10-12)

    "This is what the Lord says: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass .... And Saul ... utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword." (1 Samuel 15:3,7-8)

    "The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their women with child ripped open." (Hosea 13:16)

    "A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD's work!
    A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!" (Jeremiah 48:10)

  • Re:Peace (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HanClinto (621615) <hanclinto@gma i l . c om> on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:56PM (#25416945)
    Part of the trouble is that the verses you're referencing in the Old Testament were from a specific war -- "Go and kill the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead" or "Destroy the Amalekites" -- particular people who they were fighting at the time. Unlike the Qu'ran, the Old Testament doesn't say that these instructions to wage war are standing orders.
  • Re:Peace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rei (128717) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:04PM (#25417101) Homepage

    It's an interesting difference, though, isn't it? Islamic fundamentalists trying to get rid of public displays of pictures of Mohammed, trying to eliminate people reciting the Quran in products, and so on, and meanwhile, Christian fundamentalists are insisting on public displays of pictures of Jesus, trying to get readings from the bible everywhere, and so on.

    It's just a different kind of crazy.

  • Sure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by waldoj (8229) <waldoNO@SPAMjaquith.org> on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:07PM (#25417177) Homepage Journal

    Here's one [theglobalist.com]:

    [C]onsider the 19-year old Loula Abboud, a dark curl kissing her forehead and a golden cross around her neck. A Lebanese Christian, she was one of the first women to earn the title of istishhadiyah when she blew herself up in 1985 as Israeli troops moved in to capture her guerilla group near the town of Aoun in southern Lebanon

    But that's rather beside the point. Suicide bombings are committed almost exclusively in defense of homeland against occupying forces (or, rather, the belief that such a thing is occurring), especially forces of a different religion, and especially when those doing the defending live in relative poverty. There are very few cases of countries with poor, heavily Christian populations that are occupied by people of other religions. Ergo, hardly any Christian suicide bombings.

  • Re:Peace (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EchaniDrgn (1039374) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:23PM (#25417471)

    Off topic I know, but something interestingly different between the quotes from one scripture to the other.

    The Muslim scripture has blanket instructions to kill all of a select set of groups, from now 'till the end of time.

    The Judeo-Christian scripture has specific instructions against a given people for a specific time.

    In all reality reading any scripture independent of context is not the best way to compare religions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:26PM (#25417523)

    If anyone recalls, the original release of Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, used the muslim call to prayer as a component of the theme music to the fire temple which generated some controversy. It was replaced in future releases (as well as a modification to the design on the mirror shield which also used some religious imagery. It's possible to argue that people were overreacting to find that snippet of music controversial, when other religious music and themes seem to have been used in the game without concern such as gregorian chant in the temple of time, a mishmash of eastern religious imagery in the desert temple, etc. On the other hand, the call to prayer is extremely integral to Islam. It is traditionally called out from a minaret five times a day to signal prayer times. Considering that Islam has some fairly strong prohibitions against idolatry and fire worship in particular (due to an association with zoroastrianism, although from what I understand, it's a largely incorrect one). So it is understandable that some muslims could get upset at someone using one of islams most important prayers and associating it with a paganistic fire temple. It's not islam in particular either. There are fundamentalist Christian groups that raise a fuss every time an upside down cross or the black mass appears in a movie or game. Most of the time no-one bothers to accommodate them (unless they really, really want to get their game onto wal~mart shelves). That's at least in part because most of these groups are in the US, and most of the US is christian of some flavor or another(christianity is the state religion as far as many people, including most of those in authority, are concerned) so the population feels like it collectively "owns" christian imagery, whereas imagery from other religions is more off-limits. It's the same for other things. Jews are generally very comfortable making jokes about wholesale prices and nosejobs, black people are pretty comfortable with the dreaded n-word, no-one can get mad at anyone whose name ends in -ski for making polish jokes, etc. So, as much as I'm for freedom of speech, I also recognize that some of it can make people upset and you shouldn't needlessly insult them, on the other hand, if this sort of thing were applied to every cultural, religious, and racial reference, we wouldn't have a lot left to work with.

  • Re:ANd? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Otto (17870) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:46PM (#25417897) Homepage Journal

    It's not paying respect, it's being a coward and knuckling under to idiotic demands. I don't care whether somebody believes in something or not, to demand something like this is completely out of line and should be ignored by all right-thinking people.

    Just because it's "religious" does not make it also not stupid.

    I will absolutely not be purchasing this game because of Sony's actions on this matter.

  • Re:Peace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kungfugleek (1314949) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:49PM (#25417963)
    Reading the old testament isn't always as easy as it appears. Because of the mixtures of genres in there it can be easy to come to some inaccurate conclusions. The writers of the narrative books, for example, assumed that the reader would make the right connections between stories usually by alluding to elements from earlier stories while not openly saying, "This was just like that one time in Ur..."

    While there are definitely some racy parts of the old testament, I don't know of any place where incest or rape is okey'd by God, but there are a few places where God's silence on the issue leads people to assume he's ok with it. Other passages usually make it quite clear that he isn't. But there is still the question of Adam & Eve's kids, and I'm not sure biblical scholars really agree on what that's all about.

    The times where mass-murder is advocated are interesting. God establishes the precedent in Genesis (when he floods the world and when he tells Abram that his descendants will come back and destroy the Amorites in 400 years because their evil was not yet fully grown) that he waits until a people group is wholly, completely, evil before wiping them out. In other passages he isn't as explicit, but in those cases there are examples of individuals within those societies who turned to God and were spared from being destroyed (this happened in Sodom & Gomorrah and in Jericho, and in the Exodus some of the Egyptian slavers left with the children of Israel, etc). The point being, that while it isn't as explicit as most of us would be comfortable with, there is a precedent there of still allowing individuals a chance to repent if they were really open to it.

    Not that I can explain away every strange passage in the Bible; I don't think anyone can. I just wanted to mention that when it comes to a text that was written thousands of years ago in a culture that none of us were a part of, in a language most of us don't speak, it needs to be read with a little more care than most (including myself) usually want to put into it.

    As for cruelties that have been afflicted in the name of God (some of them even in biblical times but without his blessing), I don't think there is any justification for them. Just a bunch of religious leaders who decided to abuse their power like any human would be tempted to do. And I know they like to justify their actions by finding passages in the Bible, but if you're going to just take verses out of context you can really make the Bible say anything you want.

    Also, knowing that about the Bible makes me hesitant to take a passage from any other religious text (the Qur'an included) out of its context and make judgements based on it. Someday maybe I'll have the time to study the Qur'an, but not yet.

  • Re:Peace (Score:2, Interesting)

    by quanticle (843097) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:23PM (#25418485) Homepage

    All the the while "electing" and supporting violent leaders who do most of their crimes in the name of Islam.

    Its funny you mention elections, because the most prosperous Muslim-majority nations are the ones that are democracies (Indonesia) or closer to it on that spectrum (Pakistan). The poorest Muslim-majority states are the ones that are under dictatorships, either religious (Iran) or secular (Syria, Libya, Jordan, etc.).

    In other words, I'm not sure how you can blame the public for the actions of what is usually a very small ruling bloc.

  • Not Knuckling Under (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tobiah (308208) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:35PM (#25418671)

    Ya, I'd give Sony the benefit of the doubt here. "Offensive" and "controversial" just might not be image they're looking for in this title. If their self-censorship undermined a critical plot point I could see getting upset about this, but this sounds like it's some throwaway background track that isn't worth the hassle.

  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Maudib (223520) on Friday October 17, 2008 @05:03PM (#25419027)

    In all of the cases you mention, religion was not a major component.

    Really? The holocaust did not have religion as a major component? The collaborators, and there were an awful lot of them, were certainly motivated by religion.

    The claim that Bosnia was an ethnic conflict with out a major religious component seems disingenuous when the division between the two ethnicity was religion.

    Have you read much of the primary sources or quotes of leaders during the cold war? They routinely invoked god and atheism of communism in order to instill fear and motivate the population. The pink scare in the early 1900s was mostly built around the fact that communists were godless or jews.

    In his farewell address speaking on America's destiny (ie the conquering of NA) he said:

    "May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations, make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed, and enable you, with pure hearts and hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time, the great charge He has committed to your keeping. "

    The whole premise of U.S. entitlement to Indian land was that GOD had chosen America. This not empty rhetoric. How else can you convince the masses of people that murder and theft is ok? It truly takes divine intervention to overcome the innate decency of humanity.

    However your argument that because religion is not the sole cause of my examples somehow discounts their validity seems absurd. Nothing significant in the politics of humanity has a single cause as it's explanation. Even in your own examples can't meet that standard. Certainly Islam is not the sole cause of those laws- the need for the regime to seem pious, the ability to silence critics, etc are additional reasons for these laws.

    The Iraq war- invocation of crusade imagery by Bush, constant rhetoric about gods work by Bush and the Evangelicals. The religious component was inescapable and significant.

    I am not saying that Islam is not violent. I totally agree with you that it is violent and oppressive. I am just asserting that Christianity is by nature no better. Religion is violent. The degree to which various religions engage in violence may wax and wane over time (likely corresponding to their influence) but in the end it doesn't matter.

    As long as religion is a significant force in Western life, we will be periodically plagued by religious nut job violence.

  • Re:Peace (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Friday October 17, 2008 @05:17PM (#25419207)

    Well it is, you know, kind of written in their religion that they have to kill the homosexuals.

    I have a hard time believing that most people who call themselves Muslim actually practice and follow their religion. (Same goes with any religion, really.)

    I don't get why people cling to religion. Sure, people say they're catholic/christian/jewish/muslin/etc, but that's usually a cultural thing.
    The number of people who actually BELIEVE their religion is much, much smaller. And the number of people who actually adhere to their religion's laws is infinitesimal.

  • Re:So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday October 17, 2008 @05:23PM (#25419297) Journal

    Really? The holocaust did not have religion as a major component? The collaborators, and there were an awful lot of them, were certainly motivated by religion.

    No, they were motivated by ethnicity. Not in any objective way - it can often be impossible to distinguish a European Jew from his fellow non-Jewish countrymen genetically - but Nazis had their own theories, and according to them, Jewish were ethnically and racially distinct, and their unique religion was only used as an identifying mark. Remember that the definition of a Jew in the Third Reich, for the purpose of persecution, was not "one who practices Judaism" - it was "one who is more than 1/8th Jewish by ancestry".

    The claim that Bosnia was an ethnic conflict with out a major religious component seems disingenuous when the division between the two ethnicity was religion.

    Religion is cetainly not a sole factor dividing Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs (and all of them are typically offended by such claims, except for some pan-Yugoslavists, who mostly tend to be Serbs).

    Have you read much of the primary sources or quotes of leaders during the cold war? They routinely invoked god and atheism of communism in order to instill fear and motivate the population.

    Well, yes, and Soviet aggressive anti-clericalism with massive persecution of all religions, and particularly Christians (because they were the dominant group) might have something to do with it. I'm not justifying the Red Scare, but it wasn't one-sided.

    I am not saying that Islam is not violent. I totally agree with you that it is violent and oppressive. I am just asserting that Christianity is by nature no better. Religion is violent. The degree to which various religions engage in violence may wax and wane over time (likely corresponding to their influence) but in the end it doesn't matter.

    That's where we disagree. Judging by what I see, it seems that Christianity has been on the steady decline as far as violence is concerned for the last several centuries. It's unmistakenly the influence of the rising secular rational consciousness in the West, so Christians shouldn't claim much credit for that - but, they did adapt pretty well. There's more to be desired, of course, but the tendency is clear, and the present level is tolerable.

    Islam, in contrast, seems to be ramping up its violence component for the last half a century or so, and its mainstream shifting more and more from the liberal interpretations to fundamentalism.

  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wicked Zen (1006745) <`chaosturtle' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:00PM (#25419737)

    "...In the 18th second: "kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: "Every soul shall have the taste of death' ... almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "kollo man alaiha fan", literally: "All that is on earth will perish.""

    -1,religionofpeace?

    Please explain how these two sentences are unpeaceful.

    Or are you expecting to never die?

  • Re:ANd? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LionMage (318500) on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:26PM (#25420009) Homepage

    We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending.

    Ah, so this explains some of the enmity directed toward Sufis, then. FWIW, I don't think this view that mixing sacred scripture and music is a bad thing is entirely universal, merely a view held by the conservative elements within Islam. Which seem to be the most vocal. (That said, I am also aware that many Wahabbists view music in general as un-islamic or anti-islamic, so Sufis get a lot of hate just for that...)

  • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dangitman (862676) on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:43PM (#25420155)

    Which is the religion of peace again?

    None of them?

  • Re:Peace (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:45PM (#25420177) Journal
    If you are arguing for the tribe's innocence, Amelek is probably the worse example you can come up with. IIRC, they raided the rear of the procession coming out of Egypt.
  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hafez.parnas (1384441) on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:56PM (#25420265)

    One thing to note is that with Islam and the Quran, even amongst native arab speakers there are variations in the translations of a verse. This has to do with several things, not the least of which is that arabic now is different than arabic then. Another very important mitigating factor in the translation and understanding of a verse in the Quran is the circumstance in which it was revealed.

    In the case of the verse you're referring to, about marrying slave women Quran, chapter 4, verse 24... another translation can be found that says :

    [4:24] Also prohibited are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you. These are GOD's commandments to you. All other categories are permitted for you in marriage, so long as you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain your morality, by not committing adultery. Thus, whoever you like among them, you shall pay them the dowry decreed for them. You commit no error by mutually agreeing to any adjustments to the dowry. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

    In this case, it appears this verse was revealed as a result of a woman who captured as a slave during war, converts to Islam and wants to marry again but her husband, being a alive and well in enemy lands for obvious reasons can't or wont grant her a divorce. Furthermore, by marrying the woman she's gained the rights and respect that a wife has. And to marry her you need permission as such, from her and her guardians. Any child she bears while married is also free.

    The same wikipedia article you linked notes:

    Fornication (sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other) is regarded as an offence. Muhammad gave exemplary punishment to owners of brothels that were operated using their slave-women for such pleasures.

    Of course a backwards Muslim looking for justification for a quick screw or something much worse will look to this verse and other translations and find what he's looking for, just as a person looking to vilify Islam, the Quran and Mohammad will do the same. That's the problem, a limited interpretation. The same ideology that allowed for limited interpretations that have prevented Christians from getting divorces, contraceptives, allowed for the crusades and the inquisition, prohibited a proper burial if they committed suicide and many other stupid backwards prohibitions. It took Christianity nearly two millenia to get to where it is now, and it still has a internal strife. Jewdaism has its own many conservative laws which most would look upon as archaic (or even Islamic?) as seen in their ultra-orthodox communities and they've had considerably longer to come to grips with a changing world and the changing nature of human rights.

    Give muslims the benefit of another 600 years and I'm sure they'll come around? :P

    Just reiterating my original point, it was a framework from which muslims became better people, and for a great long while were considerably more civilized and cultured than the west, but a neoconservative movement picked up at some point (read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Abd-al-Wahhab [wikipedia.org] ) and retarded the natural advancement of human rights. Part of it was in response to a rising colonial power to the west, part of it was due to divisive domestic politics... If anything the US and the modern civilized world should consider what happened to the great Islamic empire as a warning of what can happen when progress is shunned and fundamentalism is exalted.

  • Re:So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Friday October 17, 2008 @07:18PM (#25420453)

    I've never so much as heard of anyone receiving a death threat for publishing an anti-Christian cartoon or depicting Jesus. Got cite?

  • Re:Peace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quanticle (843097) on Friday October 17, 2008 @08:48PM (#25421109) Homepage

    Per capita GDP is not a measure of prosperity, as it often hides tremendous inequalities in the distribution of wealth.

    Its rather a bit like the old joke, "If Bill Gates walked in the room, our average net worth would be over a billion dollars." In the same manner, oil barons and royalty in those states are enormously rich, while the average person makes a pittance.

  • Re:Peace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AvitarX (172628) <<gro.derdnuheniwydnarb> <ta> <em>> on Friday October 17, 2008 @09:02PM (#25421203) Journal

    As an atheist I am far more offended by the atheistic fanatics.

    At least the religious people think that what I think matters if they are a dick about it.

    The atheists trying to put down the religious are just dicks with no justification.

  • Re:ANd? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:37AM (#25423527)

    This is like a Christian fundie complaining about the amount of violence and blood in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Why the hell are you even watching it in the first place? Hardcore Islamics shouldn't be playing video games, I'm absolutely certain their interpretation of Islam bans anything that's fun, same as with the Baptists. Put down that controller before you go to hell, Yousef!

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