Popular Nike sneaker faces backlash from Muslims who say its logo resembles the Arabic script for “Allah” (NKE)

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  • A petition circulating on Change.org asks Nike to recall a popular sneaker because the shoe’s logo resembles the Arabic script for “Allah”.
  • The petition said it was “outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe.”
  • In a statement, Nike said the logo is “intended to reflect the AIR MAX brand only. Any other meaning or perceived representation is not intended.”

A Nike shoe is under surveillance for its logo.

A petition circulating on Change.org demands that Nike recall its popular Air Max 270 sneaker series because of its logo. According to the petition, the Air Max logo closely resembles the Arabic script for “Allah”.

It is outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe, “the petition read.” It is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslims and insulting to Islam. “

The logo in question is located under the shoe and is not visible during normal use. It is stylized and only resembles Arabic when read backwards.

Allah change.org petition for Nike sneakersScreenshot

“We urge Nike to immediately remove this blasphemous and offensive shoe and all products bearing the logo resembling the word Allah from global sales,” the petition reads.

At the time of writing, the petition had over 20,000 signatures. The stated objective is 25,000.

In response to the petition, Nike told Business Insider US that the company “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 branding. It is intended to reflect the AIR MAX brand only. Any other meaning or perceived representation is not intentional,” the statement added.

Read more: Nike says it will make cooler, cheaper sneakers as sales skyrocket

The company has not indicated that it will recall the sneakers. The Air Max 270 is a popular product for Nike, and it has been listed as one of three models driving the company’s sales growth over the past year, CEO Mark Parker said. in June 2018.

Nike ran into a similar problem years ago, when it came under scrutiny by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in 1997, according to an Associated Press report to the era. A stylized flame on the back of the shoe was also considered to resemble the script for “Allah”. Nike has recalled 38,000 pairs of shoes.

This time, CAIR has not yet intervened.

“Obviously some people perceive it as an affront. Whether it is or not, it still doesn’t erase the perception of some people,” Ibrahim Hooper, director of communications at CAIR, told CBS. “The way we look at it, there is intentional infraction, there is unintentional infraction and there is questionable infraction, and I don’t know what category that falls into. Definitely not intentional, I think.”

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