(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/19/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today asked Wal-Mart to stop selling a video game that glorifies religious violence and may harm
CAIR says it has received complaints about the game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces,” produced by Left Behind Games Inc. The game reportedly rewards players for either converting or killing people of other faiths.
In a letter to Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr., CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“We believe the message this game is promoting is one of religious intolerance. The game’s enemy team includes people with Muslim-sounding names. When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Left Behind Games’ President Jeffrey Frichner said, ‘Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ’ — and therefore cannot be on the side of Jesus in the game. (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/12/06) As you may know, Muslims do in fact revere Jesus as one of God’s prophets.
“In the post 9-11 climate, when improving interfaith relations should be a priority for all, this type of product only serves to dehumanize others and increase interfaith hostility and mistrust.
“Each year, CAIR issues an annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights outlining hundreds of incidents involving anti-Muslim discrimination, harassment, and hate crimes. It is our experience that many of these incidents result from Islamophobic rhetoric and negative images of Muslims in popular culture. . .
“We have no desire to stifle creativity or inhibit freedom of speech. However, it is our duty as America’s leading Islamic civil rights group to promote mutual understanding and ensure the safety of Americans of all faiths.
“We also believe that as a company that prides itself in hiring and offering services to a diverse group of people, it is Wal-Mart’s corporate social responsibility to take into account the potential social impact of its decision to sell this harmful game. We, therefore, respectfully request the removal of the video game ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces’ from your shelves.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com