Nike faces Muslim backlash after sole design resembles Arabic word for ‘Allah’

Nike faces Muslim backlash after sole design resembles Arabic word for ‘Allah’

A petition is demanding Nike recall a shoe which is offensive to the Muslim community because it resembles the word “Allah” in Arabic.

The petition says it’s “outrageous and appalling” of the global shoe brand to allow the name of God on the sole of the Nike Air Max 270, “which will surely be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth”.

“This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslims and insulting to Islam,” the post reads. “Islam teaches compassion, kindness and fairness towards all.”

The petition, which has more than 22,000 signatures at the time of writing, was created by Saiqa Noreen who referred to a similar instance in 1997 when Nike recalled a shoe which also was said to resemble the word “Allah”.

“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,” the petition reads.

“We also request stricter scrutiny of products before they enter the market.”

Nike said in a statement published by Bloomberg the logo was a stylised representation of the Air Max trademark.

“Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional,” the company said. “Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously.”

The uproar is the latest in a string of incidents involving a product which has been interpreted as offensive to the Islamic community.

Last week, more than 2000 signatures called for a boycott of British retailer Marks & Spencer because of claims its toilet paper had the word “Allah” embossed in Arabic.

The retailer said the design represented an aloe vera leaf but the petition accused it of “deliberately insulting our religion”.

Last year, Pampers faced backlash after a Muslim group claimed to have seen the word “Mohammed” spelled out in the whiskers of the nappy brand’s cartoon cat mascot.

The lines of the whiskers, nose, mouth and left eye of the smiley cat, which appears on each nappy and on the brand’s packaging, allegedly bear close resemblance to the Islamic prophet’s name when written in Arabic or Urdu.

Members of the Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadat group lodged a formal complaint with police in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

And in January last year, Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M apologised and pulled a range of children’s socks from its shelves in response to complaints made by members of the Muslim community.

The offending socks bore an image of a Lego figurine holding a jackhammer — but Muslim shoppers claimed when turned upside down, the image appeared to resemble the word “Allah” in Arabic, prompting outrage.

Continue the conversation on Twitter @newscomauHQ | @James_P_Hall or

Source link