Amazon has removed a line of doormats dog mats featuring the Arabic word ‘Allah’ following complaints from Muslims.
The mats, which were sold by third-party users, feature the word written in rainbow colours in Arabic script, and had been receiving complaints since June.
The site finally removed them after Mariam Khan, a councillor in Birmingham, complained on Twitter, causing a storm of outrage from angry Muslims.
The councillor wrote: “These mats are extremely offensive to Muslims & out of order. @amazon @AmazonHelp please remove these from your site immediately.”
Shoes and feet are seen as unclean in Arab culture, while some Muslim clerics also argue that dogs are ‘haram’ under Sharia law. The idea of wiping feet on the name of God, or using Allah as a dog mat is therefore deeply offensive to many Muslims.
The rainbow colour also caused offense as it resembles the LGBT flag as homosexuality is condemned by Islam and is illegal in many Muslim countries.
The Mail reports that Ms Khan called Amazon to complain about the mats, prompting the company to apologise and promise to remove the items. However, Ms Khan then tweeted to her followers telling them Amazon would remove the items faster if they complained.
Anam Hoque called the mats “irresponsible” and “disgusting”, accusing sellers of promoting Islamophobia.
Meanwhile, Moeed Sheikh said they were “diabolical” and “disgraceful”.
In August, a man from Manchester was sentenced to 180 unpaid work and a 12-month community order after offending Muslims on Facebook.
Stephen Bennett, 39, posted comments on the Greater Manchester Police page that were described as “likely to be offensive to Muslims”. He was charged under to 2003 Malicious Communications Act, which criminalises “menacing” speech.
A Muslim witness called the comments “irresponsible” and said they were a “potential tool for radicalisation”.
The judge said: “Your remarks damaged the community in which you live, and it’s the community that you must repay.”