It is with a sense of weary resignation that I learn why the ‘Favela’ level has been removed from the online game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It happened to Salman Rushdie and countless thousands of others so I suppose it was only a matter of time before religious grievance-mongering impacted on me (note to trolls — I am in no way comparing my loss of about 1/8 of my gaming ability to the predicament Salman finds himself in):

I feel I should point out that nobody nowhere has actually put an Islamic religious text in a bathroom.

Nobody nowhere hung an Islamic text above a toilet.

This all happened in a virtual world. It’s not real. It’s a bunch of pixels on my screen. We’re by now used to certain religious groups’ offence reaching extreme levels of reaction to things that happen in reality – critics of Islam in Denmark are still under threat – now they’re restricting what goes on in unreality. It’s not therefore unreasonable to speculate that the next sphere to encroach upon will be what people actually think. As Muhammad Ali put it:

‘You ever dream of beating me you better wake up and apologise’.

That sounds cute as a pre-fight taunt lobbed at the latest schmuck to try and take down the Great one but when some groups start using this as a legal basis for censorship we’ve got serious problems.


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