The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called for Sony, Microsoft, and Valve to drop Six Days in Fallujah. The prominent Muslim advocacy group says that the game is tantamount to an "Arab murder simulator" and that these companies should not host or digitally distribute the game.
Why does CAIR want Six Days in Fallujah to be dropped?
According to an announcement on the official CAIR website, the group believes Six Days in Fallujah "glorifies violence that took the lives of over 800 Iraqi civilians". CAIR also says Six Days promotes Islamophobic narratives and attempts to justify the invasion of Iraq. The invasion of Fallujah has, according to CAIR, been heavily criticized for such events as the use of white phosphorous. As a result of the events of Fallujah, CAIR says Iraqi babies are still being born with birth defects, which the Council points to as another reason to prevent Six Days in Fallujah from being distributed and glorifying these events.
CAIR research and advocacy coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz says that Six Days in Fallujah will "normalize violence against Muslims in America and around the world". Shahbaz goes on to say that the current climate is one in which "anti-Muslim bigotry continues to threaten human life", and that Six Days in Fallujah and the gaming industry in general must "stop dehumanizing Muslims".
Why is Six Days in Fallujah so controversial?
Six Days in Fallujah was originally announced back in 2009. The game met with widespread controversy and criticism, leading to original publisher Konami refusing to publish it. Several years passed during which Six Days and its main creative force Peter Tamte remained relatively silent. Suddenly, in February this year, it was announced that Six Days in Fallujah had been revived by Tamte's new publishing company Victura, with a new developer on board in the form of Highwire Games.
Naturally, as soon as the game was revived, the conversations around its political stance and intent began again. Staff involved in the game's creation, including Tamte himself, have made conflicting statements regarding whether or not Six Days in Fallujah is a political game. Several major gaming industry figures, including former Vlambeer exec Rami Ismail, have criticized the game extensively.
Speaking to TechRaptor, Arab game development advocate Abdullah Hamed says Six Days' lack of direct Arabic voices in its narrative means the game will "surely display a perspective that undermines victims". Hamed goes on to say that Tamte's involvement in creating US military simulators "has imperialist connotations" and that this kind of project "contributes to creating extremist ideologies within the US" when victims aren't able to tell their own stories. We don't know if Sony, Microsoft, or Valve will respond to CAIR's calls not to distribute the game. As soon as we know more about Six Days in Fallujah, we'll let you know.
How do you feel about CAIR's request? Have you been following the Six Days in Fallujah story? Let us know in the comments below!