In light of a wave of outrage from Muslim players, Activision has issued an apology for and removed a depiction of a torn-up Quran seen strewn across the floor of a map featured in their latest release, Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Prior to their removal, the images could be seen tossed around the floor amidst a number of other documents in the game’s sole Zombies mode map, covered in blood and featuring the actual Arabic text of the Muslim holy book.
Additionally, their placement on their map allowed players to tread upon them during their fight against the encroaching hordes of Nazi undead.
Though seemingly incidental, according to Islamic beliefs, the Quran holds the literal word of God in written form.
As such, Muslims believe that copies of the text – and in the opinion of some, any excerpts – should be treated with the highest religious reverence, with any intentional damage or desecration of the book considered being regarded among Islamic faithful as outright blasphemy.
Further, this reverence also calls for the Quran to never touch the floor, as such surfaces are often far from appropriately cleaned.
Following the highlighting of the Quran’s appearance in Vanguard by players on social media, as seen in a semi-viral tweet on the matter made by Twitter user @BKTO0R, Activision issued an official statement to a number of media outlets apologizing for the imagery and announcing its removal from the game.
“Call of Duty is made for everyone,” wrote Activision. “There was insensitive content to the Muslim community mistakenly included last week, and it has since been removed from the game.”
The publisher added, “It should never have appeared as it did ingame. We deeply apologize. We are taking immediate steps internally to address the situation to prevent such occurrences in the future.”
What do you make of the Quran’s inclusion in and subsequent removal from Call of Duty: Vanguard? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!