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Activision apologises for disrespecting Muslims with bloodstained Quran in COD Vanguard

Muslim gamers criticized Activision for their "insensitive" and "disrespectful" depiction of the Quran in a Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies map, that had torn bloodstained pages scattered across the floor.
Activision apologises for disrespecting Muslims with bloodstained Quran in COD Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard officially launched on 5th November, following tremendous excitement from fans. While the game has been praised for the traditional feel that veterans of the Call of Duty franchise know and love, the developers Activision were recently lambasted by fans over their thoughtless and insensitive depiction of the Holy Quran in a COD Vanguard Zombies map.

Activision disrespects Quran with bloodstained pages

On 10th November, a Twitter user wrote (translated using Google Translate): "Brothers, I see pages of the Qur’an on the ground in the zombie map. I see that it should be removed as soon as possible if it is correct."

In the attached images, torn pages of the Quran can be seen on the floor. This naturally attracted a flood of comments by users on Twitter who condemned Activision for being disrespectful and insensitive to people of the Islamic faith.

In case you are unaware, the Quran is a sacred, holy book that, to many Muslims, is considered to (quite literally) be the "word of God." Therefore, it is disrespectful and insulting to have the Quran depicted in this way.

Some Twitter users claimed that this wasn't the first time Islam was disrespected. Previously, Kotaku reported that a popular map in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was removed after Muslim gamers complained about offensive imagery on the stage.

In particular, the map contained two paintings in a bathroom. One of these paintings was hung directly above a toilet and included holy text attributed to the Prophet Muhammed inscribed on its frame.

Following the backlash from the Muslim community, the Call of Duty Middle East Twitter subsequently released a statement apologising for the "insensitive content" that was "mistakenly included" in COD Vanguard.

activision apologises quran bloodstained call of duty cod vanguard
Activision apologises for its "insensitive" depiction of the Quran in Call of Duty: Vanguard. (Picture: Twitter / Call of Duty Middle East)

The English translation reads: "Call of Duty is made for everyone. There was insensitive content to the Muslim community mistakenly included last week and has since been removed from the game.

It should never have appeared as it did in-game. We deeply apologise. We are taking immediate steps internally to address the situation to prevent such occurrences in the future." (Thanks Dexerto)

Activision has removed the Quran pages from COD Vanguard
Activision has removed the Quran pages from COD Vanguard. (Picture: Activision)

While the public apology was certainly warranted, I feel Activision should take appropriate further steps to ensure that this kind of mistake does not crop up again, especially given its attempts to become more ethically reformed.

Ironically, Activision did not echo the same apology on its main English-speaking accounts at the time of writing.


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Featured image courtesy of Activision.

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