Gamers blast Call of Duty over Islamophobic content
Call of Duty's Middle East branch apologised on Thursday for the Islamophobic content in the franchise's latest 'Vanguard' game, which caused an uproar among gamers who demanded the removal of the "offensive" material.
The game, which was released worldwide on November 5, featured a scene with pages of the Quran - the holy Islamic scripture - scattered over the floor and smeared with blood, which brought the leading worldwide games developer under fire with Muslim fans, who called for a global apology.
"Call of Duty is made for everyone... there was insensitive content to the Muslim community incorrectly included... and has since been removed... we deeply apologize. We are taking immediate steps internally to address the situation to prevent such occurrences in the future," the franchise's Middle East branch said in a statement.
Great to have an official "apology" on the topic of the Coran scripture used in the game, but it's not enough to make an impact.— 𝗡𝗮𝘇𝗶𝗵 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘀 💙 نزيه فارس (@nazihfares) November 11, 2021
The global @CallofDuty team should apologize on this, as it affects more than 2 billions of Muslim worldwide, and not just in the Arab world. https://t.co/5JcRY7097u
However, fans have called for an apology from Call of Duty and Activision's global departments, stating the incident offended muslims worldwide and not just those in the Middle East.
He’s is right. I’m happy they acted quickly to remove the assets. But the apology shouldn’t just be on the Middle East’s page. This insulted Muslims across the globe. @CallofDuty @SHGames @Activision should apologize globally and own up to their mistake on their main accounts. https://t.co/1sY3PGHhzT— Nuha 🌙 نهى (@nuhanotnoah) November 11, 2021
Others requested more care from the games developer stating there is "no reason to be disrespectful towards two billion people's culture and beliefs".
Could we -please- just not put text from the Quran on the ground or on places people where people can walk on it. Even if you think religion is nonsense, there's just no reason to be disrespectful towards two billion people's culture & beliefs in a videogame for a throwaway asset https://t.co/a1fzv8EVwN— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) November 10, 2021
Another user, Anisa Sanusi, used the incident as an opportunity to highlight the importance of diversity in the workplace.
"Sometimes the whole point of a diverse team isn’t just for gender balance, sometimes it’s at least one person pointing out hey maybe putting an entire cultures holy scriptures onto the floor to be stepped as you kill people is super insensitive? Leave the Quran out of it," the user said.
Activision confirmed they are under investigation by the US SEC last September in a statement stating the securities regular was investigating their disclosures "regarding employment matters and related issues".
Call of Duty also caused offence to Muslim fans in 2012, when an Islamic hadith - a sacred saying of the Prophet Muhammad - appeared on a bathroom mirror in its 'Modern Warfare 2' game, which was later taken out.