I saw this story this morning and just had to post a comment. Per the story, if you are playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 using a certain 'map' and employing a rifle scope inside a bathroom you just might scan the frame of a mirror and see mention of Allah, something offensive to Muslims. So...the game maker, Activision, is deleting the map and issuing an apology for the 'offense', this from the maker of a product where the focus of the game is to kill as many enemy combatants as possible using knives, handguns, rifles, machine-guns, explosives, airstrikes, grenades... Violence per se doesn't seem to be a problem, but the placement of a reference to Allah in a bathroom that can only be seen under specific conditions somehow is.
Quite a head-scratcher if you ask me.
Of course I couldn't help but be reminded of similar lunacy in other areas of the commercial world:
- A McDonald's 'Happy Meal' toy yanked from circulation because little swirls on its base could be interpreted as a reference to Muhammad.
- Burger King withdrawing a soft ice cream because the swirls on the lid meant to represent a swirling ice cream cone could be interpreted as an inscription for Allah.
- Nike withdrawing basketball shoes and apologizing for its stylistic design of the word Air on the sneakers that could likewise be interpreted as 'Allah'.
- Ikea airbrushing its Saudi-version catalog to remove women so as not to offend Muslims. And,
- Starbucks weathering criticism of its logo, supposedly because the young mermaid depicted was actually Queen Esther and this might be offensive to Muslims.
In stark contrast, Christianity is routinely attacked, defamed, insulted, exploited for 'art' and otherwise mocked in countless ways, yet this presumably isn't a problem.
Returning to the original story, I find more than a bit of irony in the title of the game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It seems to me we are engaged in a form of 'modern warfare' - a battle of cultures. If so, what is our 'call to duty'?