The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spurred Amazon to remove a line of bath mats and doormats from its online store, claiming that the products offended adherents of Islam.
“CAIR said it received complaints about the items offered by Amazon seller Emvency that are offensive to Muslims …” CAIR announced in a press release.
Special catering to Muslims?
CAIR demanded that the products be removed because some Muslims might think stepping on words from Islam’s holy book, the Quran, would be degrading.
“[The products, are deemed offensive because they] would be stepped on or otherwise disrespected by customers," CAIR insisted in a statement it issued Thursday on its website.
It did not take long for Amazon to accommodate the Islamic group that has been identified by the United States government as having ties to Islamic terrorism, as the online marketing giant quickly removed all of the items from its website upon CAIR’s request.
The Internet retailer even went as far as conducting an audit to find and purge any similarly “offensive” products – to Muslims – from its retail site.
CAIR accused manufacturers of taking advantage of Islam and encouraging consumers to denigrate the religion – in order to maximize profits.
“The organization said that it would work with the online retail giant to ‘ensure that products are not exploiting or promoting bigotry for commercial gain,’" TheBlaze reported.
The assuaging moves by Amazon and its due diligence in the matter were quickly commended by CAIR’s Washington State Chapter Executive Director Masih Fouladi.
"We thank Amazon for its swift action on this issue and hope it sends a message to manufacturers of such inappropriate and offensive items that they will not profit from Islamophobia or any other form of bigotry," Fouladi expressed to the Seattle, Washington-based online retailer.
Confirmation of the removal of the allegedly offensive bath mats and doormats was declared by a spokesperson for Amazon, who indicated that other manufacturers would receive the same fate if they attempted to sell their products through Amazon that were deemed disrespectful to Muslims.
"All sellers must follow our selling guidelines, and those who do not will be subject to action – including potential removal of their account," the Amazon spokesperson informed CNN on Monday. "The products in question are being removed from our store."
Here we go again …
After it was announced that the “offensive” items were no longer offered online, more complaints about “inappropriate stuff” available on Amazon’s online store were waged, according to CAIR Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, who pointed out that toilet seat covers currently for sale on Amazon are imprinted with the Quran and Islamic scripture.
"I don't think it would be appropriate to have a toilet seat with the image of a Bible on it either," Hooper contended when speaking with CNN – noting that most of the products were probably not manufactured with the intent of offending Muslims. "It's just inappropriate stuff. My gut feeling is that – at least for the bath mats, shower curtains and stuff like that – it's these companies just slapping these designs on everything without even thinking about it, but there are others crossing the line into intentional Islamophobia. Some of the companies have things like toilet seats. I mean come on, why else would you do that?"
Nike caved, too …
More than a decade ago, CAIR had a similar qualm with the world’s largest sports apparel and equipment company, Nike, which has embraced and rewarded San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick – with a $30-million endorsement contract – in his anti-American protest against police after he led a movement in the National Football League to disrespect the flag, police and armed forces by kneeling during the National Anthem before games.
“This is not the first time CAIR has asked a company to remove an offensive product,” CNN’s Alaa Elassar recounted. “In 1997, the organization complained to Nike that one of its shoes featured a design that bore a striking resemblance to the word ‘Allah.’”
Just like Amazon more than a decade later, Nike bowed down to CAIR’s demand, expressed their sincere regret over the matter and pulled product from retailers’ shelves across the nation and globe.
“Nike apologized for any unintentional offense and recalled the shoes,” Elassar added.