… wait, wait, does this make any sense at all? Wouldn’t the conservative Muslim clerics normally call for the gruesome execution of children who play video games because they involve the creation and manipulation of images of humans and animals? So Koranic lyrics in a background song … that is just salt on the wounds, right? Here’s the story from the BBC:

Copies of LittleBigPlanet are being recalled from shops worldwide after it emerged that a background music track contained two phrases from the Koran.

Sony issued an apology for any offence that its use of the backing track might have caused.

The changed version of LittleBigPlanet will now go on sale on 3 November in the UK and 29 October in the US.

Trial judge

A statement on the LittleBigPlanet website said: “We’re sure that most of you have heard by now that one of the background music tracks that was licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Koran.

“We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused.”

Speaking to the BBC LittleBigPlanet creators Media Molecule said it was alerted to the problem by a Muslim gamer who had been playing a beta, or trial, version of the game.

The music in question comes from Grammy award-winning artist Toumani Diabate from Mali and is known to have been available through online music stores for months.


  1. #1 sailor
    October 21, 2008

    This pussyfooting gets ridiculous. Which almost rhymes with Religulous, which I finally got to see last night. It was very funny, but Maher is so self satisfied, and smites the religious in such a heavy handed way in the cutting room. I think I ended up with somewhat more sympathy with religion than I had when I went into the theater.

  2. #2 Betul
    October 21, 2008

    Speaking of offending muslims:

    I had to share.

  3. #4 Irene Delse
    October 21, 2008

    Last time, it was the Church of England freaking out because a violent scene took place in a church in an other video game…

  4. #5 Brian Knoblock
    October 21, 2008

    Irene Delse @ #4,
    That game’s called “Resistance: Fall of Man.” Sony didn’t pull that game and is “in talks” with the Church of England over it.


    Little Big Planet is also sold by Sony, so it looks like they don’t want another game coming under fire. I think it’s silly and overreacting.

  5. #6 SimonG
    October 21, 2008

    I don’t think that religions should receive particular deference, but neither do I think that it’s a good thing to go around offending people for no reason. Since, as far as I can tell there’s no need for the verses from the Koran – they’re unrelated to the game – why bother with them? It harms nobody to pull them and replace the soundtrack with something else. (Well: I guess it harms Sony slightly ’cause they have to pay for it, but that’s their choice.)

  6. #7 Greg Laden
    October 21, 2008

    Simon: I may misunderstand, but I think the verses were in a musical piece developed by someone and I assume being paid for by Sony.

    Removing the music may have no effect on this case because there is a contract, or it might have an effect .. the artist who produced the piece is getting screwed because of Sony’s decision to get jumpy about the Mullahs. This may also place this artist’s work (this particular work, maybe others) at risk of getting dumped on the market that until moments ago the artist had broken into.

    Maybe. Just sain’

  7. #8 Betul
    October 21, 2008

    On the other hand, it is so easy to offend muslim society anyways. I guess religion in general is a sensitive hit, but no need to say that christianity did have its revolution and islam is the same old stuff. At least freedom of speech exists in christian societies unlike muslim ones. And there are less gender differences, more human rights etc. But look at the islam world. Anything better? Or anything new?

    Back to susceptibility on offense, Winnie the Pooh even offended some muslims in Turkey past year. Here:


    and here:


    Even a pig drawing offends muslims, of course video game is worse! I don’t understand why islam can not be diluted. The fact that it is so rigid is something that muslims are even proud of.

  8. #9 aporeticus
    October 21, 2008

    I wonder if they’d like it better performed by The Byrds.

  9. #10 Nick
    October 21, 2008

    This is a nice, light-hearted, family friendly game. I don’t blame Sony for not wanting any controversy to surround it. I think maybe they were equally worried about parents hearing about the existence of the song and not buying the game for their children. Which would be far worse than anything some pissed off Muslims could do to Sony…

  10. #11 Wallace Turner
    October 21, 2008

    Maybe they should just swap the offensive music for something else. The Clash maybe?

    The shareef don’t like it
    Rockin’ the Casbah
    Rock the Casbah
    The shareef don’t like it
    Rockin’ the Casbah
    Rock the Casbah

  11. #12 watercat
    October 21, 2008

    “All that is on earth will perish”
    “Every soul shall have the taste of death”

    Without someone telling me I’d assume those were bible verses.

  12. #13 SimonG
    October 21, 2008

    Yes: there may well be a financial impact that goes beyond Sony. I think my real objection is to people who have jumped on this as an outrageous example of pandering to the mad mullahs, whereas I see it more as a case of Sony stupidly not avoiding giving needless offence; no more significant than a company failing to realise that it’s new brand name means something obscene in portugese.

  13. #14 Irene Delse
    October 23, 2008

    New development: the author of the song, Malian singer-songwriter Toumani Diabate, defends the use of the song in the game.
    He says he’s a Muslim too and in his country, it’s normal to mix religion and music.

  14. #15 Glazius
    October 23, 2008

    Yeah, this apparently was over a forum post from a guy who wasn’t even Muslim, and actual Muslims are complaining that this makes them look bad.