Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Video Game Recall Due to Qur'anic Content

Sony has recalled the roll-out of its latest video game LittleBigPlanet because some late vetting discovered Qur'anic quotations in some of the game's licensed music. Sony's Director of Corporate Communications posted the following statement on the Playstation 'blog on October 17th:
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 apologize for any offense that this may have caused.

We will begin shipping LittleBigPlanet to retail in North America the week of October 27th. Sorry for the delay, and rest assured, we are doing everything we can to get LittleBigPlanet to you as soon as possible.
An ABC.com article clarifies the content in question:
The song is titled "Tapha Niang," composed by world musician and Malian kora player Toumani Diabate.
[. . .]
The two lines that appear in Diabate's song are from 3:185 ("Every soul shall taste of death") and probably 55:26 ("All that is on earth will perish").
This action is another example of the debates over the limits on performing scriptural texts. For critics of Sony and Diabate, the use of Qu'ranic verses in a video game is inappropriate. For others (like Diabate, who is Muslim, and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy), the use is acceptable.

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