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As Jews around the world celebrated Purim, an Egyptian cleric called for a boycott against Starbucks throughout the Arab world, claiming that the woman in the international chain's logo is Queen Esther.
"Starbucks is to be found in Mecca, in Medina, opposite the King Abdul Aziz Gate in Mecca, opposite the Majid Gate in Medina, as well as in Cairo," cleric Safwat Higa said, during a sermon that aired on Al-Nas TV, and which was documented by the MEMRI watchdog group.
"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 cafes] 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," he said.
According to Doug Fast, the designer of the Starbucks logo, the woman depicted is based on a Greek mythological siren - half woman/half fish - and has nothing to do with Queen Esther.