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Court Clears Creators Of Austrian Anti-Mosque Game

An Austrian court has cleared the creators of an anti-mosque political ad-game and the politician that commissioned it on charges of incitement, saying the game did not encourage real world violence.
An Austrian court has cleared both the politician that commissioned an anti-mosque political ad-game and the game's Swiss creators on charges of incitement, saying the game did not encourage real world violence. The decision focused on Moschee Baba ('Bye Bye Mosque'), an online Flash game in which players were asked to shoot mosques, minarets and Muslims. The game was released as part of Austrian Freedom Party politician Gerhard Kurzmann's failed campaign to become governor of Austria's Styria province. The Austrian government banned the game soon after it was posted last September following outrage expressed by everyone from members of Austria's Muslim and Roman Catholic communities to UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon. But Reuters reports Graz court judge Christoph Lichtenberg said the game "did not reach the threshold of incitement and I would also say this was not the intention." The court also cleared the Swiss PR firm that created the game, a modified version of which was previously used in anti-immigration campaigns for the Swiss People's Party. Prosecutors plan to appeal the decision, saying the game is guilty of inciting religious hatred and defaming religion. "The judge has unmistakably determined that the question of whether mosque-building should be banned is being discussed all over Europe and that it is a completely legitimate debate," Austria's Freedom Party said in a statement.

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