In what is likely to come as a shock to anyone who believes radical Islamism doesn’t perpetuate a Holy War mentality, terror group Hezbollah has released a first-person shooter game called “Holy Defense” that allows players to confront and defeat “the American-Zionist project.”
But here’s the twist: the enemies in the game are members of ISIS.
Hezbollah has long been an ally of al-Assad in the Syrian conflict. Its soldiers have fought against ISIS in Syria and in the border regions of Lebanon.
The final battle takes place in Baalbek, a city in north-eastern Lebanon.
The elimination of the State of Israel has been one of Hezbollah ‘s primary goals since it was founded in 1985.
Previous games, including ones where Israeli soldiers are the enemies, can be found on the Shiite Muslim organization’s website.
The game is said to be marketed to teenagers and has a low price-point, presumably so youth can afford to purchase it.
Hezbollah overtly suggests the game is intended as an indoctrination tool and released a statement saying the goal of the game is to “instill in the hearts of young Lebanese Shiites a collective awareness of their identity, culture and history as Muslims”.
A DVD containing the game was handed out in Beirut last month, and it carried a description on the back of the case that reads: “This is not just a game, but a tool to confront the violent culture which invades our markets through games devoid of sentiment or sense of belonging”. The jacket description is a nod to similar first-person games created in America.
“They have Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Delta Force…Our game is different, as it is based on real battles,” said Holy Defense developer Hassan Allam, recounting that some of the game’s battle scenes were painstakingly recreated from pictures of battle sites in Lebanon and Syria.
And English version of the game is planned, but will likely not be made available in the Unites States due to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization.