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Austrian Government Bans 'Islamophobic' Political Flash Game

An online Flash game in which players shoot down mosques and Muslims has been banned in Austria and denounced by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon as "totally unacceptable" and "Islamophobic."

Simon Parkin, Contributor

September 7, 2010

2 Min Read

The Austrian government has banned an online Flash game released as part of an anti-immigration political campaign in the country. The game, titled Moschee Baba, or ‘Bye Bye Mosque’, charges players with shooting down mosques, minarets and fez-wearing Muslims from a countryside scene and was designed to promote a regional chapter of the Freedom Party (FPO), Austria’s leading anti-immigration political party. At the game’s conclusion, the following message is displayed: “Styria is full of mosques and minarets! Don’t let that happen: On September 26, vote for Dr. Gerhard Kurzmann and the FPO!” The game has caused outrage in Austria, with Anas Shakfeh, president of the Islamic Community in Austria (IGGiO), leading calls for its ban, saying: "This hatred of religion is irrefutable and unacceptable.’’ On September 5th, President Heinz Fischer announced the game's ban, criticizing it for being “absolute nonsense” and displaying “a real lack of taste.” UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who was visiting President Fischer at the time, also denounced Moschee Baba as being “totally unacceptable” and “Islamophobic.” Visitors to the game’s site are now greeted with a message that reads: ‘‘Dear visitor, due to the political control of our opponents, this game has been banned by the law!’ Following the ban, an Austrian Neo-Nazi site published the game on its own homepage. Alexander Segert, the entrepreneur who sold the game to the FPO, then lodged a complaint with the site's San Francisco-based service provider about alleged copyright infringement. The site temporarily went offline, before reappearing yesterday, displaying YouTube footage of the game in its place. Following the controversy, a previously unknown Turkish group calling itself 'Black Peace', launched a series of attacks on a service provider linked with the FPO. The group uploaded images of a mosque onto around 50 sites hosted by the provider, including text condemning Moschee Baba. Moschee Baba appears to be a localized version of a Swiss Flash game, Minarett Attack released in 2009.

About the Author(s)

Simon Parkin

Contributor

Simon Parkin is a freelance writer and journalist from England. He primarily writes about video games, the people who make them and the weird stories that happen in and around them for a variety of specialist and mainstream outlets including The Guardian and the New Yorker.

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