NEWS
31/01/2019 4:56 AM AEDT

Thousands Say Nike Air Max Sneaker 'Offensive' To Muslims, Petition For Recall

A Change.org petition says a logo stamped into the sole resembles the word Allah in Arabic and is “blasphemous.”

An online petition with nearly 15,000 signatures asks Nike to recall its Nike Air Max 270 shoe, saying the logo resembles the word Allah in Arabic and “will surely be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth.”

The Change.org petition, created by a person named Saiqa Noreen in the U.K., says it’s “outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe.”

“This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslim’s and insulting to Islam,” Noreen writes in the petition. 

The Air Max 270, which recently went on sale in new colors, retails for $150 and features “AIR MAX” stamped into the sole. The design makes part of the logo look like the word Allah in Arabic, petitioners contend.

Change.org
Saiqa Noreen's Change.org petition against Nike.

Nike did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. A spokesperson told Today Style that the logo on the shoe is “a stylized representation of the Air Max brand.”

“Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “The AIR MAX logo was designed to be a stylized representation of Nike’s AIR MAX trademark. It is intended to reflect the AIR MAX brand only. Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional.” 

Nike
Nike Air Max 270 on Nike.com

This isn’t the first time the athletic company’s products have stirred controversy, Noreen’s petition points out.

Nike recalled sneakers featuring a similar logo in 1997 and said it had tightened logo-design scrutiny, the petition says. Nike apologized at the time and donated $50,000 for a playground at an Islamic school in the U.S.

“So why has a similar design been approved?” the petition asks. “We urge Nike to recall this blasphemous and offensive shoe and all products with the design logo resembling the word Allah from worldwide sales immediately.”