It is possible, should you so desire, to download a video game called "Muslim Massacre" from the internet. Although it is common enough for video games to exploit the virtues of killing as many people as possible, the objective of this particular video game takes on a particularly nasty twist, and at a time when relations between Muslims and others are sensitive enough.

Could it be mere coincidence that the game was released on the internet during the month of Ramadan? I think not. Was it a deliberate action to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11? Most likely.

The objective of the game, so I am informed (for I confess I have not and will not visit the site), is for an American soldier, parachuted into the Middle East and armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher, to kill as many Arabs as possible - some dressed as terrorists, others apparently civilians.

Players compete through various levels until ultimately they take on Osama Bin Laden and then certain revered religious entities.

The sick programmer who devised the game, a freelancer known as Sigvatr, claims it is "just a game where you blow the gently caress [slang for a common swear word] out of Arabs".

What is it with such persons that they need to exacerbate an already sensitive situation? There are still many Muslims who are still smarting over the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) published in a Danish newspaper originally, but subsequently picked up by other "daring" and insensitive media.

'Obviously not'

Have these people no understanding of what Islam means to Muslims. I think the answer is "obviously not", which is a shame because a some comprehension of Islam would go a long way to better appreciation of what motivates more than a billion (and increasing) Muslims around the world.

It is often said that as fast as Islam is spreading globally, so Christianity is depreciating.

Obviously there are a number of reasons for the depreciation, but I suspect one is that many Christians have for years followed their religious beliefs in a very casual manner, often jokingly being called a "four-wheeled church goers". (It is at christenings, weddings and funerals, where a person is always taken to church in a four-wheeled vehicle.)

This is especially noticeable in Britain, where church attendance is at all all-time low and religion plays an insignificant role in people's lives.

It is because of this causal attitude towards religion that many people fail to grasp the major role Islam has in the lives of Muslims. The Quran teaches Muslims conduct in every aspect of their lives. Christianity does not have such strictures, which is possibly why it is treated by some in such a light-hearted way.

I should here concede there are many branches of the Christian faith that do take their religion very seriously - Evangelists for example, but there are others - but they are known on occasion to have strongly contentious arguments against Islam, rather than seeking common ground.

It is in the light of this that the possibility arises that the video game becomes popular with certain sections of society, for they will look upon it as "just another game".

But it isn't. It is a sure-fire way to incite hatred against ones fellow persons of a particular religious persuasion. It is invidious in its concept and it is invidious that it is available to everyone on the internet. But apparently there is nothing that can be done to have it removed.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) can classify films and DVDs by certifying a viewing age and, sometimes will ban them, but the BBFC has no legal control over the internet. It needs a physical product it can put a sticker on.

If the programmer of such a game is in the UK, there could be a possibility of intervention under obscenity or race hatred laws. Otherwise nothing can be done by them if, as it would seem in this instance, it is produced outside the UK.

The BBFC, the games industry and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport are supporting a new voluntary regulation where producers submit internet games to the BBFC for official age rating. But people like of Sigvatr are unlikely to do that. Video games like "Muslim Massacre" call for greater control of the internet.

Freedom of speech is all very well, but only within certain limits, and that includes not being offensive to race or religion.