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As Jews around the world are celebrating Purim, one Egyptian cleric has used the holiday to launch an attack against Starbucks, claiming that the woman in the logo of the international chain is Queen Esther, and her presence warrants a boycott of the company throughout the Arab world.
"Starbucks is to be found in Mecca, in Al-Madina, opposite the King Abdul Aziz Gate in Mecca, opposite the Al-Majid Gate in Al-Madina, as well as in Cairo," Egyptian cleric Safwat Higa said during a sermon which aired on Al-Nas TV, and which was documented by the MEMRI watchdog group. "Starbucks is to be found everywhere, with this logo."
"Have any of you ever wondered who this woman with a crown on her head is? Why do we boycott Starbucks? I will tell you, so you will know why you should boycott this company, and what this logo stands for," he continued. "As I've already said, it is not enough to avoid entering this coffee shop. It is not enough to refrain from drinking this coffee. You must urge people never to go there, but none of you should even consider throwing a stone, breaking anything, or burning [the place] down."
"The girl in the Starbucks logo is Queen Esther. Do you know who Queen Esther was and what the crown on her head means? This is the crown of the Persian kingdom. This queen is the queen of the Jews. She is mentioned in the Torah, in the Book of Esther. The girl you see is Esther, the queen of the Jews in Persia," the cleric said.
"The Crown you see here [in the Starbucks logo] is the crown of the kingdom of Xerxes," Higa said.
"We want Starbucks to be shut down throughout the Arab and Islamic world," he concluded. "It is inconceivable that in Mecca and Al-Madina, there will be a picture of Queen Esther. Can you believe that in Mecca, Al-Madina, Cairo, Damascus, Kuwait, and all over the Islamic world there hangs the picture of beautiful Queen Esther, with a crown on her head, and we buy her products?"