Publisher Activision removed popular multiplayer map Favela from Modern Warfare 2’s online servers this weekend after Muslim gamers discovered holy Islamic text contained within one of the environment’s unsavoury-looking rooms.
As Kotaku details, a decorative representation of a quote attributed to the Prophet Muhammad reading “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty” can be seen on the frames of two paintings hanging in an unsanitary bathroom – one hung above a toilet. To those of the Islamic faith, seeing consecrated transcript displayed in a bathroom, especially such a filthy one, can cause great offence.
Activision issued the following statement shortly after receiving the complaint:
We apologize to anyone who found this image offensive. Please be assured we were unaware of this issue and that there was no intent to offend. We are working as quickly as possible to remove this image and any other similar ones we may find from our various game libraries.
We are urgently working to release a Title Update to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 3. We are also working to remove the texture from Modern Warfare 2 through a separate Title Update. Until the TU is ready, we have removed the Favela multiplayer map from online rotation.
Activision and our development studios are respectful of diverse cultures and religious beliefs, and sensitive to concerns raised by its loyal game players. We thank our fans for bringing this to our attention.
You can view footage showing the location of the text on YouTube. Favela will return to MW2’s multiplayer playlists once amendments have been made.