JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Muslims have lambasted Nike for selling a brand of Air Max sneakers with a design on its sole that resembles the Arabic word for "Allah".
The sports giant is being asked to recall the sneakers, with Muslims saying they have "insulted Islam".
The outrage began when Muslim customer Saiga Noreen noticed what she believed was the Arabic word for Allah on the shoe. She immediately launched an online petition, demanding that the company remove the popular shoe from its worldwide market.
Ms Noreen accused Nike of having a disrespectful attitude towards Islam, stating in the petition's description: "It is outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe. This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslims and insulting to Islam."
"Nike has produced the Nike Air Max 270 shoe with the script logo on the sole resembling the word Allah in Arabic, which will surely be trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth," Ms Noreen wrote. She urged all Muslims and everyone who agreed with her to sign the petition.
Currently, over 16,000 people have signed the petition, with a goal of 25,000 signatures.
Other supporters took to Twitter to express their outrage over Nike's allegedly blasphemous product.
"Why is Nike selling trainers that clearly have 'Allah' written in #Arabic. Remove shoes from sales. Disgusting and appalling," tweeted one angry supporter, with an image directing people to support Ms Noreen's petition.
Nike denied allegations it intentionally insulted the Muslim community, saying the logo was a "stylised representation of Nike's Air Max trademark" and had no religious significance, as reported by RT.
"It is intended to reflect the Air Max brand only. Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional," a Nike representative said.