NEW DELHI: Thousands of Muslim customers lambasted the sports giant Nike for “insulting Islam” by writing out the word ‘Allah’ in Arabic on the silhouette’s outsole.
According to reports, Saiqa Noreen, a Muslim buyer, had noticed the writing on the new Air Max logo design which she found offensive and even launched an online petition.
Change.org petition initiated by Noreen was signed by more than 8,000 people , accusing the shoes of being ‘disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslims and insulting to Islam’.
Ms Noreen said: ‘Nike has produced the Nike Air Max 270 shoe with the script logo on the sole resembling the word Allah in Arabic, which will surely be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth. It is outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe.’
Ms Noreen added about the trainers, released last year: ‘Islam teaches compassion, kindness, and fairness towards all. We urge Nike to recall the 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.’
— Yasif (@19yas82) January 22, 2019
— انی دیا، اے مذاق اے؟ (@PTI_Paki) January 23, 2019
Nike 270's which say Allah on the sole.
I checked on a pair my friend owns and it's definitely there. pic.twitter.com/tXNR7Whj8z
— KAVA ❼ (@kavalondon) January 19, 2019
“Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously,” Nike said in a statement.
“The Air Max logo was designed to be a stylised representation of Nike’s Air Max trademark. It is intended to reflect the Air Max brand only. Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional.”
Nike is no stranger to controversy. In 1997, around 38,000 pairs of Nike Air Bakin’s were pulled (before social media) because the fiery logo resembled Allah in Arabic calligraphy.