Muhammad vs. Jesus, now offline


An online fighting game between religious figures has been taken off the Web site by its Italian creators following complaints that the game was religiously insensitive.
His face blacked out in an...

His face blacked out in an apparently unsuccessful wffort to avoid offending Muslims, Muhammed sends Jesus down for the count in the Faith Fighter game.
Photo: Courtesy

However, a link on the site of Italy-based Molleindustria sends a visitor to one of many other sites that still carry the Faith Fighter game.

Molleindustria took the game off its Web site last week after the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents many Muslim countries, claimed it was offensive to Christians and Muslims.

In the game, Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha and others combat each other. The game is especially problematic for Muslims, since any depiction of Muhammad is prohibited by their religion.

While Faith Fighter has been on-line for a year, the OIC only asked for its removal recently, after an article in Britain's Metro brought the game to its attention. The article deemed the game "deeply provocative" and "disrespectful."

The game now has a disclaimer explaining that it is not meant to be insensitive, and even offering a "censored" version where Muhammad's face is blacked out.

"Faith Fighter was meant to be a game against intolerance," Molleindustria said in a statement on its Web site.

According to the site's spokesperson, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, the game was intended to "create a commentary about the fact that religions can be used instrumentally to create hate, and that is not good."

He added that while there was no specific Jewish figure in the game, there was "a God of the Old Testament" who he said could be considered the Jewish character.

After taking down the game, Molleindustria released Faith Fighter 2, which it describes as "the sequel of the infamous game that outraged over 1.3 billions of Muslims from 57 countries."

It is supposed to teach "the universal values of tolerance and respect." However, there has been criticism that the game, which simply asks players to click on different religious figures to show that they love them, is sarcastic and insincere.

The spokesperson admitted the irony in Molleindustria's responses and the fact that there was a link to the original game.

"We just wanted to reassert our point [and] reassert our control," the spokesperson said.