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24 Jan, 2019 11:32

Calls for M&S boycott over toilet roll ‘with Allah symbol’ (VIDEO)

Calls for M&S boycott over toilet roll ‘with Allah symbol’ (VIDEO)

High street retailer Marks & Spencer has been forced to defend itself online after a viral video claimed the retailer was selling aloe vera toilet paper embossed with the Arabic script for ‘Allah.’

“Recently I bought toilet tissue from Marks & Spencer and when I opened one of them, it has the name of Allah, as you can see,” the unidentified man says in the now viral video, which has been viewed tens of thousands of times on various social media platforms.

Marks & Spencer has vehemently denied the claims, which were spread far and wide online in recent days. Outrage was so severe that an online petition has been set up calling on the retail giant to withdraw the offensive objects.

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At time of writing, the petition started by a user named Musa Ahmed has already garnered 2,888 of its 5,000-signature goal.

“This is a very weasly [sic] and pathetic attempt to insult Islam. Nike did something similar in 1997 when they had ‘Allah’ written on their trainers but eventually they had to stop the production due to complaints,” Ahmed writes.

In 1997, Nike was forced to withdraw a line of sneakers with script resembling the Arabic rendering of the word Allah.

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An M&S spokesperson has denied the toilet rolls feature the name of Allah, insisting that it’s “categorically of an aloe vera leaf.”

But the viral clip has already sparked calls among the online Muslim community to boycott the high street retailer, under various iterations of the hashtag “#BoycottM&S.”

The clip has divided opinion online, with some clearly outraged at the cultural and religious insensitivity, while others decry the perceived hypersensitivity of those complaining.

Many were frustrated that M&S even entertained the complaints.

YouTube user Jason King highlighted a phenomenon called pareidolia or “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist.”

“For example, when you look at a cloud and it looks like a rabbit, or you look at the moon and see a face,” King wrote adding, “Religious people tend to suffer from it more than most. They see the face of Jesus in a slice of toast, or the name of God on toilet paper.”

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