Nike sparked outrage with the release of a new shoe bearing a logo that resembles Allah, that Muslims claim is a slight against Islam.
A Nike spokesman claimed that the logo on the Air Max 270 is merely a stylized version of the Air Max trademark. Saiqa Noreen, who launched an online petition demanding a recall of the shoe, contends that the logo's in fact the Arabic script for Allah and therefore an insult to Islam. The petition has garnered over 13,000 signatures.
"It's 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," Noreen wrote in the petition.
The logo appears on both the heel and the bottom of the sole, making it doubly insulting to those who perceive it to be the name of Allah. The shoe's considered unclean in Arabic culture and showing the sole of one’s shoe's considered an insult. To attempt to hit someone with a shoe in Arabic culture is to say that the intended victim's lower than one’s foot.
The Nike spokesman argued that any resemblance to Allah was unintentional.
"Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously. The AIR MAX logo was designed to be a stylized representation of Nike’s AIR MAX trademark. It's intended to reflect the AIR MAX brand only. Any other perceived meaning or representation's unintentional," the spokesman told Today.
|Nike shoes that many think resemble Islamic text|
The complaint against Nike comes in the wake of Amazon’s removal of several bathmats and toiletry products that featured Quranic verses in response to complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.