Just do it, “but not in Allah’s name”

Ten thousands of outraged Muslims world-wide are demanding that Nike recalls a line of sneakers which many deem blasphemous and offensive

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A change.org petition calling for sneaker giant Nike to recall the Air Max 270 because it features a logo that resembles the word “Allah” in Arabic is slowly reaching fever pitch. 

The petition, which has since gained close to 10 000 signatures worldwide (including South Africa) at the time of writing this, was created more than a week ago by Saiqa Noreen, who called out the world’s leading sportswear brand for being disrespectful to Muslims.

The design in question shows the script logo on the shoe sole resembling the word “Allah” in Arabic, of which Noreen assures fellow believers that it will “be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth”. 

Air Max 270 script logo reportedly resembles the word “Allah” in Arabic as shown in this Islamic calligraphy painting: http://sufi-mystic.net

In Muslim faith, showing the sole of your shoe has long been an insult as the feet is generally considered unclean – especially the soles – and as such believers are required to take of  their shoes before they enter a mosque or place of prayer. 

Nike called to account for the “offensive” sneaker branding

“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,” read 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.”

While the company has since responded to the blacklash, stating that “Nike respects all religions” and as such takes the concerns of this nature seriously, one reader has questioned why it took this long for the matter to get public’s attention – a year later. “I have been going to these half a year already! Why did you pay attention just now?” read a tweet from Julia Krafman.

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