Saturday, September 17, 2005

Seeing 'God' in everything

It’s not often I’d defend a fast-food chain, those purveyors of unwholesome greasy by-products of factory-farmed carnage, but this story takes the proverbial cake.

In fact, when I heard this story last night I was convinced it was a joke, a mischief-making urban legend, something the News of the World had made up to further fuel resentment of the Muslim community. But no, it appears to be an own-goal.

If this report in The Scotsman is true, then this is a really sad indictment of the lengths society has to go to in order not to incense the insensible with religious sensibilities.

Burger King has had to withdraw its ice-cream cone because the graphic of the twirling cone looks – if you tilt it sideways and squint at it – a bit like the Arabic writing of ‘Allah’.

According to The Scotsman, the “sacrilegious” desert was spotted by business development manager Rashad Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe. Mr Akhtar though, is not content that Burger King has agreed – one imagines at great expense and waste of resources – to withdraw the product, he wants a boycott of the company.

“This is my jihad” he says.

Instead of telling Mr Akhtar to stop being an idiot, the Muslim Council of Britain issued a statement saying: “We commend the sensitive and prompt action that Burger King has taken."

MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala told the Eastern Eye: "It is true that seen from a certain angle, the design on the BK ice cream lid could be read as closely resembling the word Allah in Arabic.”

So what? People see Mother Theresa in potatoes and Elvis in bathroom mould all the time.

Still, I predict that within hours, various apologists for this idiocy will be spouting conspiracy theories about the power of subliminal advertising and suggesting that Arabic script for ‘Allah’ has some cosmic power to attract consumers, blah, blah, blah, and that Mr Akhtar was acting entirely rationally.

Of course, I myself have supported boycotts of Burger King, but for good reasons. Though, I still boycott them since, being a vegetarian, it offends me that some of the things in their burger products bear an uncanny resemblance to parts of dead animals.


At 2:49 PM, Anonymous marc said...

This is dangerous. Bending over backwards to avoid offending those who take offence at pretty much anything is insane and when you give them an inch...


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