GULF DIGITAL NEWS
7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

'Ban Hizbollah game' petition launched

AN online petition calling for a ban on a new Hizbollah computer video game for children has been launched. It claims that the 3-D game, Special Force 2, promoted violence and facilitated "Hizbollah's manipulation and recruitment of Bahraini children". The BD5 game, launched in Bahrain a week ago, enables youngsters to re-enact last year's Hizbollah-Israel war.

Designed by Hizbollah computer experts, Special Force 2 is based on the key events of last year's 34-day conflict. It allows players to take on the role of a Hizbollah fighter or Mujahid and collect points and weapons by killing Israeli soldiers.

A total of 14 people have signed the petition since it was launched last week by three Bahraini youngsters.

Those behind the petition invite more to support the ban by signing at www.petitiononline.com/sforce2/petition.html.

Once signatures are gathered, the petition will be sent to the Information Ministry.

"We are against Special Force 2, it's not the right game for children," said one of the petition's founders, who does not want to named.

"It's created by a religious and political party and that makes it unacceptable. And it's sold for BD5, so it's accessible to children.

"The war happened only a year ago and so it's not appropriate to make a game out of it. It's not helping Bahrain and the region."

The 26-year-old Bahraini woman said while there were many war games in the market, they were created for older teenagers and adults and were more expensive at about BD20 plus.

She said it was wrong to create violent war games for children, because they were still impressionable and couldn't fully understand the difference between right and wrong.

"As a Muslim, I should not promote violence against a social sect or religion, and we are supporting Hizbollah with this," she told the GDN.

"When you play these games, you participate in the war because you are shooting, and children don't realise what's right or wrong.

"We are recruiting the next line of Hizbollah fighter. What's next, being against Sunnis or Shi'ites?"

The activist, who has not purchased Special Force 2 because she doesn't want to support the game, said she was all for children being educated about the issues behind wars, but not through the promotion of violence.

"Surely, most Israelis are Jews, but a lot are Arabs too, so we are fighting against ourselves and we are promoting ourselves as savages to the world," said the Bahraini, who is an avid video game player.

"Children should be taught to defend their rights, but with the right means.

"Why not create a strategic game like Rise of Nations and teach them this way.

"Honestly, Hizbollah is killing more civilians and all they are doing is creating havoc and agitating the Israeli government. I have friends in Beirut and it was destroyed.

"They are using this issue as an excuse for violence, they are creating more damage than what they are fixing. Our youth is now growing up to be violent and violence is not how to solve the issue."

She called upon the Information Ministry to fully investigate the game and others like it and ban them.

"At least through this petition we are being heard, we want to show them how angry we are and I'm sure others will support this," she added.

Bahrain Society Against Normalisation with the Zionist Enemy member and former chairman Mohammed Hassan Al Aradi said he thought such a petition would actually make more people interested in buying the game and could even result in an uprising or political fight in the country.

He said Bahrain was a free country and everyone had a right to their own opinion and to support any issue they wanted and that included having the choice to buy a particular game or not.

"They can't take a decision for everyone in the country," he told the GDN.

"It's a small country and maybe they will generate a crisis in the country with this.

"If I wanted to make a petition against this I already have 150 people in my family who would sign. The game is just putting a message to Arabs that we can win.

"Our children are already watching all this on TV anyway, so it makes no different. It's not right to do something like this (ban)."

Mr Al Aradi said he supported the game and didn't see anything wrong with war video games. He said he was thinking about buying Special Force 2 for his family, but hadn't got to it yet.

"Let's remember, we are hearing the name of Israel all the time on the TV and they are showing films against Arabs and no-one is saying anything. Again it is free will," noted Mr Al Aradi.

"There are also games for BD1 that are against Muslims and you can probably get all these types of games through the Internet even if they aren't sold here. If they start banning this, you will have to ban everything."

The Information Ministry was unavailable for comment yesterday. [email protected]






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