Amazon Pulls Items Deemed Offensive to Muslims

The Amazon Spheres, part of the Amazon headquarters campus in Seattle, WA.
By BiodinOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Home goods printed with Quran verses are considered offensive.

Amazon removed a number of home products including bath mats and doormats offensive to Muslims from its website after the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) took exception to them. The products had Quranic verses imprinted on them.

Amazon was quick to delist the products after it received the complaint. All objectionable items were being offered by third-party sellers. The objection was based on the premise that the nature and standard use of these products involve their users stepping on them or any other activity that can be considered disrespectful when judged by religious standards. A majority of these products had Islamic calligraphy referring to the Prophet Muhammad and various Islamic scriptures.

CAIR issued a statement of appreciation for Amazon's swift action on taking down the offensive products. It thanked the eCommerce giant and hoped that such actions will send the correct signals to individuals or companies who sell offensive and inappropriate items that they cannot profit from any variety of bigotry including Islamophobia. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the company will desist from selling such products from now on. As per the company official, all sellers on Amazon should follow the guidelines set by the company, and if a seller cannot, then there exists a risk of the seller being removed from the virtual store.

The CAIR complaint has triggered a number of other complaints targeting more offensive products like toilet seats having Islamic scripture imprinted on them. Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for CAIR, told media that such designed items would be offensive for all religions, let alone Islam. He said it would not be appropriate to print a Bible image on a toilet seat. Hooper understood that not all of the discontinued products may have been made with offensive intentions. In his opinion, bath mats and shower curtains were printed with offensive items by companies without thinking about the content, while others uses were intentional.

The National Director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, said in his January 4 statement his organization will work with online companies to make sure that products are not promoting bigotry for profit.

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