Some soccer balls carry the flags of nations like Saudi Arabia—the latter depicting the words “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” with a sword to stress the point, which, incidentally, non-Muslims may find “offensive.” But who cares about that?
“2010 ads offend Muslims,” from The Times, November 11:
Muslims have taken offence at the use of sacred Islamic texts in advertising for the 2010 World Cup.
2010 Special Report
“In particular, as advertising for the 2010 Fifa World Cup gathers momentum, there have been soccer balls bearing the national flags of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq in circulation,” the Jumiatul Ulama (Council of Muslim Theologians) said in a statement today.
“These flags carry Islamic proclamations considered sacred by Muslims.
“Usage in this manner has the potential of offending adherents of the Islamic faith.”
The Jumiatul Ulama said it had observed an increasing trend in the use of sacred Islamic texts in print advertising and promotional merchandise.
“Muslims handle and dispose of such sacred texts with utmost respect. We would therefore like to bring to the attention of publishers, advertisers, printers, publicists and all concerned about the sensitivities the Muslim community has about the use of any type of media with sacred Islamic text.”
The council has offered its guidance to agencies involved in all kinds of advertising on the “appropriateness” of the use of Arabic texts, arabesque art and calligraphy “which may have subtly embedded sacred text”.
The World Cup Local Organising Committee was not immediately available for comment.