Saturday, May 24, 2003

Playing with Hizbullah
My friend Anthony Mills has researched a brief for the section of a Lebanese business magazine, Executive, that I edit (the section not the mag), and reports that Hizbullah is marketing a computer game known as "Special Force." The idea of the game is to seize an Israeli outpost and defend a Lebanese village, and to add realism to the enterprise "maps were obtained from the party's media archives to ensure the simulations are as true-to-life as possible."

According to a Hizbullah spokesman some 10,000 copies of the have been sold in Lebanon and the Middle East, with roughly the same number of pirated copies out there. I won't purloin Anthony's work by saying more, but when the brief is published I'll be sure to post it. But a word on the moral here: Islamists seem to be among those most attuned to the advantages of capitalism (as Al-Qaida has repeatedly shown), which, incidentally, in no way contradicts the tenets of Islam. But does that mean hope for Arab liberalism?

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