Friday, June 21, 2019

Thousands accuse Nike of offending Muslims with ‘blasphemous’ shoe logo

  • News Desk
    Published: 2019-01-31 14:40:31 BdST

Photo: Nike Inc

Nike Inc is facing pressure to recall one of its leading brands of sneakers after an online petition claimed the design logo was ‘blasphemous’.

The petition started by a customer accuses the sports apparel giant of using a logo on the Nike Air Max 270 that resembles ‘Allah’, reports Bloomberg.

The outrage prompted Nike to issue a statement explaining that the logo was a stylised representation of the Air Max trademark.

At least 16,000 people have signed the petition, which aims to collect 25,000 signatures. They have called the branding on the sole “outrageous and appalling”.

“This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslims and insulting to Islam,” said Saiqa Noreen, the customer who started the petition.

“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 Nike statement said any perceived meaning or representation is “unintentional”. “Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously.”

Nike faced a similar controversy in 1997 when the Council on American-Islamic Relations alleged the company’s logo on certain athletic shoes resembled the word “Allah” in Arabic script. The company had then pulled the line of shoes off shelves worldwide.

The sportswear giant also came under scrutiny last year for its ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick that had initially rattled investors but settled down eventually.

The NFL quarterback-turned-activist sparked controversy for taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.