As many of you may have already heard (or heard and then fist clenched your pre-order receipt in utter fury) the release of LittleBigPlanet on PS3 has been delayed worldwide due to it containing references to the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam.
The official word about the incident from Sony is as follows: "During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an. We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused."
Head scratching, knee-jerk reaction? We certainly thought so, and it seems that we're not alone. We recently received a phone call from Mr Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, and he was similarly mystified as to Sony's decision to go into LBP meltdown...
During the brief conversation Mr Trad related the following: "My son is doing Islamic studies over in Lebanon, he is a gamer, and he was very upset that the lines were being taken out. He said "why are we Muslims always overreacting?" He thought that it was perfectly OK, these lines could be taken from anywhere - from a heavy metal song, from the Bible even."
"The game [LittleBigPlanet] is not promoting any kind of religion, it takes more than four words to quote from the Qu'ran - these are concepts not exclusive to Islam, or any religion for that matter. It comes from a genuine fear of not just offending Muslims, but people in general. That being said though, it does Sony some good - the game has gotten a lot of publicity as a result."
"But I understand Sony's concern, because there are some extreme groups out there that misinterpret these things and take it the wrong way."
For the benefit of our international readers, Mr Trad himself has become a highly controversial figure in Australia due to many of his activities, comments and views on matters relating to Islam. Most of his media notoriety relates to his former role as an interpreter and spokesperson for Sheik Taj El-Din Hilaly.
For example, following the comments made by Hilaly in October 2006 which said that if a woman is raped it is usually her own fault, Trad defended Sheik insisting that the comment was taken out of context or misunderstood. Apparently Hilaly was talking about adultery, not rape.
As it stands, we couldn't agree more with Mr Trad's sentiments regarding LittleBigPlanet. Sony, pull your heads in... More PlayStation 3 News...