The government of Austria has banned Bye Bye Mosque, the controversial anti-Islamic Flash game in which players are charged with keeping mosques and minarets out of the country.
With elections in the Austrian state of Styria set to take place later this month, the far-right Freedom Party launched a cheesy little Flash game called Moschee Baba, aka Bye Bye Mosque, exhorting players to fight back against the tide of mosques and minarets sweeping across the country. Players receive a message at the game’s conclusion warning that “Styria is full of minarets and mosques” and urging them to vote for the Freedom Party.
Despite its low quality and the fact that it is based on an entirely false premise – Anas Schakfeh, the head of the Islamic Community in Austria, said there are only four mosques with visible minarets in the entire country – the all-too-predictable outrage came fast and furious. “This is religious hatred and xenophobia beyond comparison,” Schakfeh said, while U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, on a visit to Austrian President Heinz Fischer over the weekend, described it as “Islamophobic” and “totally unacceptable.”
Fischer himself said the game was “absolute nonsense” and announced on September 5 that it had been banned. Visitors to the site now receive a message saying, “Due to the political influence of our enemies this game was banned by the Austrian Justice. Now you decide on September 26.”
Following the ban, an Austrian neo-Nazi group reproduced the game on its own site, which led to a copyright infringement complaint from the man who originally sold the game to the Freedom Party. The group’s U.S.-based service provider pulled the site offline until yesterday, when it reappeared with a YouTube gameplay video in place of the game. A Turkish group calling itself Black Peace, meanwhile, attacked the Freedom Party’s service provider, uploading images of mosques to about 50 other sites it hosts.