The world renowned brand Nike is facing pressure to recall one of its shoe brands over anger that the design on the sole of the shoe allegedly resembles ÂAllahÂ in Arabic script.Â There has since been a petition which has gathered over 33,000 online signatures as a result of the shoes release in 2018.
Nike argued that the design is a Âstylised representationÂ of its Air Max trademark and that Âany other perceived meaning or representation is unintentionalÂ, whilst the petitioners have argued the design is Âoffensive and blasphemous.Â The petitioners went on further to say that Âthe name of God on the sole of the shoes, where it would be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth, was disrespectful to Muslims.Â
Nike has now gone onto to release a further statement to the World Intellectual Property Review expressing its respect to Âall religionsÂ and that they take such concerns very seriously.
A similar issue occurred in 1997, when Nike agreed not to sell shoes bearing a mark resembling ÂAllahÂ in the UK. The earlier petition challenged the companyÂs commitment to greater Âscrutiny on logo design.Â At the time Nike explained how it had discontinued production of those shoes and that by the end of the process they had Âdeveloped a deeper understanding of Islamic concerns and Islamic issues.Â
There are no further updates at this stage on what Nike is planning to do to resolve the situation however it is clear that they need to do something drastic as this is the second time they have had allegations of this type made in 20 years. Â
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