After complaints from Muslim advocates, the online retailer Amazon has removed more than 20 product listings that included doormats, bathmats and toilet covers featuring verses from the Quran in Arabic calligraphy.
The products, many of which included the name of God and of the Prophet Muhammad, were not produced or stocked directly by Amazon, but carried by independent retailers selling on Amazon’s platform.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group, requested last week that the products be removed, calling them offensive because the passages from the Quran, which Muslims believe to be the word of God, “would be stepped-on or otherwise disrespected by customers.”
CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper said the retailer removed links to those products Jan. 4 and had begun conducting an audit of its site for similar items. He also noted that products by small overseas vendors such as Emvency and Printsonne likely had no malicious intention but were thoughtless and inappropriate.
Muslims treat the Quran with great respect, performing ritual ablution before touching it and often avoiding putting it on the ground or in impure areas — including near feet or below the level of feet. Many will burn any materials containing the Quran or God’s name rather than allowing it to sit in the garbage.
“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,” said Masih Fouladi, executive director of CAIR’s chapter in Washington state, where Amazon is based.
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Source: Religion News Service