An Air Max shoe made by Nike Inc is shown in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S. June 27, 2016..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE)
Thousands of people are battling Nike to have the company's famous Air Max 270 shoe recalled due to the logo on the sole of the shoe being similar to the word for God in Arabic, "Allah," according to a Fox News report.
According to petitioner Saiqa Noreen, the logo will "surely be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth" and is therefore offensive to Muslim people and their beliefs.
A Nike spokesperson denied these allegations, stating to Fox News that "Nike 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 trademark," the spokesperson said in the statement. "Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional."
This is not the first time Nike has been accused of slandering religion in their logo. A 1997 sneaker by the company was heavily criticized by those claiming the flame pattern on the side of the shoe resembled the word for Allah, as well, in which case 38,000 pairs of sneakers worldwide were pulled by the company.
Jewish people have also put shoe companies under scrutiny. Since the 1990's, the shoe company Vans was regularly criticized for the traction pattern on the sole of their shoe by those claiming it looked like overlapping stars of David. Many took this to be a symbol of "stomping the Jews."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), however, released a statement denying these allegations about Vans, claiming that "the use of the Star of David pattern in this context may be offensive to some" but "there is no factual basis to believe that the maker of Vans shoes incorporated the six-pointed star design in an attempt to insult Jews."
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