AMAZON, the global e-commerce platform, showed class when it removes from its virtual shelves “offensive” products because of their Islamic religious texts.
The products included doormats, bath mats, and other items which the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) described as “offensive to Muslims.”
On January 3, CAIR asked the titanic online retailer to pull out the products imprinted with Islamic calligraphy, references to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as well as verses from the Qur’an (Islam’s holy book).
CAIR, the United States’ largest Muslim civil rights group, said it “received complaints about the items offered by Amazon seller Emvency that are offensive to Muslims because the Qur’anic verses and other Islamic references would be stepped-on or otherwise disrespected by customers.”
Amazon, founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, responded positively to the request.
The next day, January 4, The Arab American News reported that Amazon removed the offensive products.
CAIR lost no time in lauding the leviathan online retailer.
“We thank Amazon for its swift action on this issue and hope it sends a message to manufacturers of such inappropriate and offensive items that they will not profit from Islamophobia or any other form of bigotry,” Masih Fouladi, executive director of CAIR’s Washington state chapter. Amazon has headquarters in the state.
Offensive products which Amazon pulled out. (Image: Amazon via CAIR).
It can be recalled that the U.S. civil rights organization in 1997 as reported by the The Washington Post had asked Nike Inc. to stop selling one of its new line of basketball shoes because they have a logo that looked like the Arabic word for Allah, God in Arabic.
Nike agreed to stop selling the offensive shoes after weeks of negotiations with CAIR.
The global shoe brand did more than that. It also apologized for “any unintentional offense” because of the logo, promising to have tighter scrutiny of logo design, as well as vowed to upgrade a sports facility located at an Islamic elementary school in the U.S.
“Through this process, our understanding of Islamic concerns has been deepened and we apologize for any unintentional offense to the Islamic community and we are glad we have been able to resolve our differerences,” Roy Agostino, Nike spokesperson, said.
On the issue at Amazon, an spokesperson informed CAIR of the products’ removal “as a violation of the retailer’s policy.”
CAIR, on the other hand, promised to continue working with Amazon onward.
“CAIR will continue to work with Amazon and other retailers and manufacturers to ensure that products are not exploiting or promoting bigotry for commercial gain,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.
“We thank all those who reported theses offensive items to CAIR and contacted Amazon.” (EKU)