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Clothing recalled over mosque picture

Reader comment on item: Away with Crusaders, Crucifixes, Crosses, and Christmas

Submitted by Sophie (United States), Feb 23, 2006 at 14:07

Clothing recalled over mosque picture

22 February 2006

MADRID – The Spanish high street store Bershka has recalled its latest collection from its shops all over the world after complaints from some Muslim customers in Dubai.

Bershka's new range contains a label with a picture of a garden scene and what looks like a mosque or a Middle Eastern palace. The illustration is done in the style of a postcard from an exotic holiday, with handwriting and an arrow pointing to the building and a few hearts.

On the picture is written: "We slept here!!!" Beneath the picture are the words: "New…Collection 2006. Look! Here is where we are… wonderful! Isn't it!?"

According to the United Arab Emirates newspaper Khaleej Times, some shoppers

in the Dubai Bershka complained to the shop assistant about the labels using "images of a mosque mixed with symbols of love and suggestive comments".

A customer told the newspaper: "They are describing that place [the mosque] as a place where lovers spend the night."

The illustrator of the design told the newspaper, which is printed in English, that the arrow was pointing at the garden, not at the mosque.

However, Inditex, which owns Bershka, along with other highly successful stores such as Zara, Pull and Bear and Massimo Dutti, quickly recalled its entire collection with the labels, probably highly sensitive to the current climate caused by the Danish caricatures of Mohammed.

The company, which is owned by Amancio Ortega, also decided to apologise to customers in Dubai for any offence caused, publishing a statement in Arabic in the newspaper Al Bayan.

Kasinderaw, one of the shop assistants at Bershka in Dubai, also told the Khaleej Times that the labels were mistakenly included in the collection there. "They were in clothes that had come from Spain," she said. "We discussed the matter with the exporter who confirmed there had been a mistake. We assure you that we had no intention of hurting the feelings of people who are Muslim."

According to the newspapers in the United Arab Emirates, some bloggers on the web had suggested boycotting Inditex throughout the world for "the little respect for Islam demonstrated".

Although there have only been complaints about the labels in Dubai, Inditex has decided to change the label in its 368 stores across the world.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news
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