UK. SWEDEN. It doesn’t take much to upset some Muslims. A picture, somebody not being a Muslim, toiletpaper or shoes.
In 1997 Nike was forced by angry Muslims to withdraw a pair of shoes as the enraged group claimed that the flame decoration said Allah. The Council on American- Islamic Relations (Cair), which have links to the Muslim Brotherhood, took part in the campaign and 38 000 shoes all over the world were returned. Roy Agostino, for Nike, said:
We have, through this process, developed a deeper understanding of Islamic concerns and Islamic issues. As our brand continues to expand, we have to deepen our awareness of other world communities.
Last spring there was turbulence around a pair of childrens socks on H&M. They were blue and had a Lego City building worker on them. And if you turned them upside down the jackhammers “movement lines” could apperently be read as Allah. So H&M followed the line of least resistance and withdrew them. Spineless.
Now it’s Marks & Spencer that’s in trouble after a video have gone viral claiming that their aloe vera toilet paper is embossed with the Arabic script for Allah. A petition have been set up with the goal to remove the toiletpaper which is “deliberately insulting our religion”. Marks & Spencer say that it’s just an aloe vera leaf. Here’s a newsflash for you Muslims: every squiggly line used for decoration isn’t Arabic text, but I can understand how one might make that mistake.
The latest drama involves Nike once again. It’s regarding a pair of trainers that are insulting as they have Allah written on the sole. Saiqa Noreen launched a petition to pull the Air Max 270 and this is her explanaition:
It is outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe. This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslim’s and insulting to Islam.
Islam teaches compassion, kindness and fairness towards all. We urge Nike to recall this blasphemous and offensive shoe and all products with the design logo resembling the word Allah from worldwide sales immediately.
We also request stricter scrutiny of products before they enter the market. I urge all Muslim’s and everyone who respects the freedom of religion to sign this petition.
Wouldn’t the kind and fair thing be to not harass companies because of your subjective interpretation of a logo? Or not scaring them with the unspoken threat of violence and being called an Islamophobe? We have all seen examples of what Muslim mobs can do.
Here’s my unwanted advice number one to companies: don’t cave in. Don’t apologise for something that you haven’t done, something which in fact is all about the Muslims. And I have noticed that if you give this group a finger (giving them the finger might be a step too far, but the instinct is understandable) they take your entire arm. Also, they become even more fervent if you show that you are weak. Customers will respect a company that isn’t crawling on the ground for these kind of fooolishness.
And to you Muslims: welcome to the west! Here we have religious freedom, but you can’t force the whole society to cater to your paranoia. You may feel insulted, but that’s your problem. Play the victim all you want, but we have no reason at all to follow your religious commandments. Somewhere we have to draw a line for how much consideration we’re going to show your faith. Why should Muslims get special treatment?