Nottingham

Redbubble slammed for selling 'Allah' miniskirts

Redbubble website Image copyright Redbubble
Image caption People have described the skirts as "disrespectful" and "highly offensive"

A website has been urged to remove "offensive" miniskirts emblazoned with scriptures and the word Allah.

Redbubble - a marketplace for independent designers - was also criticised earlier this month for selling items with images of Auschwitz.

The skirts, on sale for about £25, have been branded "point blank inappropriate" and "incredibly stupid".

Redbubble previously said it would remove anything flagged as being distasteful.

'Provoking reaction'

Several items, which remained on sale on Tuesday morning, feature references to Islam.

Dr Irfan Malik, from Nottingham, said the website's items were disrespecting several faiths, not just Islam.

"The last few weeks there's been a number of tweets about items on the website and it's just getting worse and worse," he said.

"Normally these things don't bother me and I respect people's freedom of speech to criticise and debate religion, but these just seem to be pushing those lines further and further - almost provoking people into a reaction."

He said the products were purposely "stirring emotions" and described having miniskirts with religious scriptures printed on them as "just weird".

Image copyright Rebubble

Organisation TellMAMA - which reports anti-Muslim hate and supports victims - said traders should "reflect" on these items with religious texts and iconography, which could be "inflammatory to communities".

'Religion is not fashion'

Director Iman Atta added: "Whilst traders may want to carry on selling such items, does it really make profit for them or just gain notoriety?

"Alternatively, we must also say that traders, writers and artists have the right to push boundaries and these are the tensions that exist in society. We need to be aware of them."

Social media users have been criticising the website for leaving the skirts up for sale.

One wrote: "Religion is not fashion, these miniskirts are highly upsetting to people from the Muslim faith."

Earlier this month the website removed pillows, tote bags and T-shirts showing harrowing images of the Auschwitz concentration camp after the Auschwitz Museum complained.

And last week they took "immediate action" to take down skirts featuring a Sikh guru and images of Harmandir Sahib, a holy place of worship in Sikhism.

Redbubble responded to some complaints about those garments to say they were "grateful" to be made aware of concerns.

It said it had removed items not conforming to its "community guidelines" and changed its upload process to ensure artists are asked to assess the appropriateness for their product.

A spokeswoman added: "We understand and respect the sentiments raised that some designs inspired by religious and culturally significant imagery are offensive to some people in the Sikh and Muslim communities when placed on certain products.

"We truly appreciate the feedback we have received and hope our actions demonstrate a commitment to engaging responsively."

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