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Anti-Muslim content in games removed as Turkey's bid pays off

BURAK ERDEM ÇELIK
ISTANBUL
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A campaign by the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports to fight against anti-Muslim content in computer and mobile games proved fruitful as some game developers agreed to remove the content in new updates for the games.

The ministry launched a campaign last year against the content deemed anti-Muslim in a diverse array of games from first person shooter Counter-Strike to Tekken.

Developers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Counter-Strike, Tekken Tag Tournament, Zack and Wiki responded positively to the calls and released new updates to the games, effectively removing the content.

The ministry has set up a website where users can upload anti-Muslim content they came across in games.

Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç told Anadolu Agency in a recent interview that digital games were "being used by the West as a means to spread Islamophobia."

"We found out that the holy book [Quran] and relevant places were purposefully placed in these games to provoke fear. Violence, terrorism and Islamophobia is being imposed on youngsters through digital gaming and an ugly impression of our religion is being woven into our children's subconscious," Minister Kılıç said.

There are several popular games the ministry brands as containing anti-Muslim elements. The well-known "Guitar Hero 3," has content where players jump on a stage and dance on an inscription of "Allah" in Arabic. Another is the third-person shooting game, "Devil May Cry 3," where the gate of the Kaaba, the most sacred place in Islam, is used as an entrance symbol for a demonic tower. A "Resident Evil" level is also criticized in the booklet because the gate to the sacred grave of Prophet Muhammad is portrayed as a source of chaos and evil. "Zack and Wiki," a Nintendo Wii game, is also accused of being anti-Muslim for evil characters exclusively screaming "Allahu Akbar" (God is the greatest) as they die. Outright anti-Muslim games such as "Muslim Massacre," "Bomb Gaza," "Minaret Attack" and a modified "Pacman," where a character devours burqa-wearing women, were also depicted in brochures prepared by the Turkish ministry to raise awareness on the issue.

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