Nike are getting called out by Muslims for using "offensive" script on their trainers

30 January 2019, 17:31 | Updated: 30 January 2019, 17:42

Nike store front/underneath of Air Max 270.
Muslims have called on Nike to discontinue the Air Max 270. Picture: Getty/Twitter/@arabsabaa
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

A petition to pull the trainers has gained almost 14,000 signatures.

Musilms are calling on Nike to recall an "offensive" line of trainers because the logo looks like Allah's name in Arabic when turned upside down. The script – which actually spells out Air Max – is on the sole of the Air Max 270 shoe and people have branded it "blasphemy".

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The sportswear brand faced similar backlash back in 1997 when they were forced to stop selling their Air Bakin' trainers, which featured "Air" in flame-like letters on the heel. The trainers caused widespread offence within the Muslim community because the text could be read as Allah in Arabic script.

Saiqa Noreen launched a petition to have the shoes, which were released last year, pulled from shelves and criticised Nike for allowing Allah's name to be "trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth".

In some Muslim or Arab cultures, showing the sole of your shoe is seen as the ultimate insult. Shoes are also considered dirty because they're worn on the lowest part of the body and touch the ground.

"It is outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe," Saiqa wrote on the petition. "This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslim's and insulting to Islam. Islam teaches compassion, kindness and fairness towards all. 

Saiqa went on to demand more scrutiny of products before they've reached the market. She added: "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."

Well, Nike have now responded to the furore, with a spokesman stating: "Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously.

"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."

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