‘Allah’ ice cream banned by Burger King


by Sunny
16th September, 2005 at 2:14 pm    

The Sun has a bizarre story today (thanks Laura) about Burger King recalling its ice-cream cones that have a swirly design that offends some Muslims.

The design on the lid apparently looks like the word ‘Allah’ in Arabic.

One customer told the Sun the design was “sacreligious”. BK says: “As a result of feedback our supplier is amending the design.” MCB’s Inayat Bunglawala: “We commend the sensitive and prompt action to prevent any hurt being caused to the religious sensibilities of others.”

It beggars belief that the Muslim Council of Britain keep giving credence to these stupid stories with their own quotes. For god’s sake, it only gives the impression that all Muslims are hyper-sensitive. BK should never have changed this, I haven’t seen a single campaign or email about this issue.

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45 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Silicon Valley Redneck

    Ice-cream lunacy

    Both LGF and the Drink-Soaked Trots have picked up on the Great Burger-King Ice-Cream Blasphemy Outrage; Pickled Politics (via the Trots) has the tale, complete with nice photos of both the offending dessert-lid squiggle and what appears to be the name…


  2. GagWatch

    Spot the difference

    Take a long hard look at the tow images to the left. Can you tell the difference?

    If you spotted that the one on the left is an ice-cream cone and the one on the right isn’t, you’re doing a whole lot better than the MCB’s Inayat Bunglawala, and …


  3. :Punktlog //

    Was Toleranz nicht bedeutet….

    Ein besonderer Fall religiöser Verklärtheit macht gerade in England die Runde. Die Fast-Food Kette “Burger King” nimmt dort einen Eisbecher aus dem Sortiment, weil die Grafik auf dem Deckel aussieht wie das Wort “Allah” – auf arabisc…


  4. mediawatchwatch.org.uk

    BK “cone man” speaks out

    Remember the furore last month when Burger King withdrew an ice cream
    cone because of a single complaint that the swirl on the lid looked a
    bit like the word “Allah” in Arabic? Well, the original complainer, 27-year-old Rashad Akhtar, has …


  5. Malik Al-Shayeb

    are we gonna use our brains any time soon !!!! http://bit.ly/9S2hMz


  6. Arne Sandland

    RT @rabiatius: Tøft, sytende muslimer fikk fjerna en is fra Kongen i UK i 2005, fordi designet så for mye ut som Allah på Arabisk: http://is.gd/bFo1O


  7. Marius Thorsen

    Tøft, sytende muslimer fikk fjerna en is fra Kongen i UK i 2005, fordi designet så for mye ut som Allah på Arabisk: http://is.gd/bFo1O


  8. Oda Rygh

    RT @rabiatius: Tøft, sytende muslimer fikk fjerna en is fra Kongen i UK i 2005, fordi designet så for mye ut som Allah på Arabisk: http://is.gd/bFo1O


  9. let eat bee

    RT @sunny_hundal: 'Allah' ice cream banned by Burger King http://bit.ly/9S2hMz
    I lold


  10. Grig Punkie Larson

    I have just been reminded of this from my last Tweet: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/35


  11. Marius Thorsen

    @skaufant Allah har også vist seg i iskrem: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/35




  1. rizwand — on 16th September, 2005 at 2:46 pm  

    Sunny, definitely agree with you on this. The world has gone bonkers mad !

    I have just searched Google and can’t find any other stories relating to this…I wonder if the highly reputable Sun has got its facts wrong?

    (man, I haven’t been to Burger King in years!)

  2. Turbanator — on 16th September, 2005 at 3:21 pm  

    Why did The Sun feel the ned to ask for a Quote and why did MCB feel the need to respond.

    MCB is seen as an obvious voice to quote and demonstrates the lack of real alternative voice. Until “commen sense” muslim group is established , muslims can expect to be collectively stigmatised by these fools.

    So who is the alternative . . I want to bring to your attention an Indonesian group called the Liberal Islamic Network . A British Liberal Islamic Network needs to be built.

  3. Turbanator — on 16th September, 2005 at 3:28 pm  

    Sorry their website : http://islamlib.com/en/page.php

  4. Marc — on 16th September, 2005 at 3:58 pm  

    It’s about time we ALL stopped kissing muslim arse if you ask me. Just because something happens to look like something else it’s offensive??! Fuck me, no one thought to ask me if I find women covered from head to foot in black with a tiny slit to peek through offensive – and I do! No one asked me if I thought that knighting Iqbal Sacranie was offensive to the non-religious; I do.

    Just because I don’t defer to the great bearded sky fairy that seems to make me a latter mortal in their eyes! Hell’s teeth, who put these lunatics in charge?

  5. leon — on 16th September, 2005 at 6:06 pm  

    This is a joke right?!? Tell me this is a joke!

  6. Siddhartha — on 16th September, 2005 at 6:11 pm  

    I don’t defer to the great bearded sky fairy

    Not many Muslims defer to Iqbal Sacranie either.

  7. Laura — on 16th September, 2005 at 7:07 pm  

    I’m the one who sent Sunny the article — looks like it’s on the cover of the Eastern Eye today! So I’m guessing the Sun stole it from them, and that the whole thing originated with some kind of attempt by some cranky Muslims to get media coverage by going to EE, who then found it easy to chase down quotes. I could be wrong, but there it is. All the info in the two articles is the same, down to the offended Akhtar.

    My question is, is BK halal? Why were these fussy Muslims eating there anyway to even notice the graphic design? :)

  8. Charlie — on 16th September, 2005 at 7:15 pm  

    Having overcome my helplessly muscular-liberal rage, it occurs to me that maybe someone in Burger King’s aiming for a bit of promotion with some very smart publicity. If you were going to organise a publicity stunt to get your name in the papers and look caring and sensitive, you might do something like this. Although I suppose the commercial value of a stamp of approval from the MCB might not be much to talk about. But still, smells fishy to me. Or beefy, possibly.

  9. Ahmad — on 16th September, 2005 at 10:07 pm  

    “It’s about time we ALL stopped kissing muslim arse if you ask me” [marc]

    auww really, I was just getting comfortable marc.

    It’s about time that you learned to grow up and not create an “us” and “them” divide and tarnish everyone with the same brush. I’m not saying you should be kissing arse, but tolerate it. Just like many Muslims have to tolerate drunken youths late at night. If I can tolerate that, why can’t you tolerate someone who chooses to wear what they want. Or would you prefer all women to prounce around in short shorts?

  10. jamal — on 16th September, 2005 at 11:18 pm  

    I dont think that we always have to wait for many muslims or scholars to condone or condemn. We should not only congratulate those that will lead by examplee or folowing pressure, but those that avoid insulting others, as BK have done.

    Is it not a good thing that this restuarant does not want to offend its muslim customers, workers, or the public in general.

    To change this logo would have been good for the people it may affect, and for the PR of the company.

    It has happened, it is done. This disagreement here now between muslims and non-muslims regarding this, is very representative of why the asian community does not get on as a collective.

  11. rizwand — on 16th September, 2005 at 11:57 pm  

    I approve of honorable efforts of people and companies not to cause offense but I think this is an example of taking this too far. Maybe it is me who is now going too far, but I suggest that it is condescending for BK to think that most muslims would take offence at a picture of a swirl of ice-cream.

    I say its bad PR for muslims because it makes us stand out for all the wrong reasons, and its bad for BK because of a) the financial costs of changing production design (I know its not much) and b) their image in the eyes of the masses as taking correctness to the extreme…to the point of incorectness?

    …for me it all comes down to the extensivenss of the survey that BK apparantly carried out….I fear it was not representative.

  12. Sunny — on 17th September, 2005 at 2:56 am  

    This is the story in Eastern Eye

    Burger King is to withdraw thousands of ice-cream cones because the design on the packaging (pictured) resembles the Arab word for Allah.

    The company has acted after the coincidence was spotted by a Muslim customer, Rashad Akhtar, at its Park Royal outlet last week (6), who later telephoned its head office to say that the packaging was sacrilegious.

    The Muslim Council of Britain has backed the change.

    A statement by Burger King (BK) to Eastern Eye said: “The design on the lids of our cones represents a spinning ice-cream cone.

    “However, as a result of the feedback we have received, our supplier is amending the lid design.”

    The US fast-food giant said it would withdraw the packaging in ‘the near future’ once an alternative has been designed.

    But the action has failed to satisfy Akhtar, who wants the designer sacked and is calling on Muslims to boycott the fast-food company.

    Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe, who is married and a business development manager, said: “Them [BK] recalling this product is not sufficient. It should be taken away from the stores now.

    “I have had no correspondence from Burger King.

    “These people who have designed this think they can get away with this again and again. This is my jihad.

    “How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way – to the right, you are offending Muslims.

    “I ordered my food and then got talking to a worker, a French guy.

    “He asked me: ‘Are you Muslim?’

    “He showed me the cone.

    “I felt humiliated.”

    The design change is likely to cost Burger King a lot of money. Even the small restaurants, such as in Whitechapel Road, order about 80 ice cream packages a week.

    MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said: “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.

    “We commend the sensitive and prompt action BK have taken to prevent any hurt being caused to the religious sensibilities of others by this.”

    It is not the first time Burger King has upset Muslims. In 1999, several Islamic organisations called for a worldwide boycott after the chain opened an eatery in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, considered by Palestinians to be illegally occupied territory.

  13. Sunny — on 17th September, 2005 at 3:14 am  

    Jamal – I don’t think you’re getting the point. There are battles worth fighting, and then there are some things which are not worth getting stressed out for.

    Now thee is a lot of Islamophobia already out there and the one way that people point fingers is by saying “these Muslims want everything their way, they don’t integrate etc”.

    This is just another way people will say that. I mean is it really necessary? Is it stopping you from practising your religion? Is it making your life hell? No not really. And in the current atmosphere we have – is it worth even fighting for?

    Some thick idiot decided to complain and make a big deal about something. Ok – that happens all the time. I alone get loads of emails from bigots about this, that and the other. You delete their email after a quick chuckle.

    Here, not only did BK over-react (why?), the fools from the MCB took up that claim. I mean for fucks sake, has the MCB got nothing better to do with their time? All they do is spend their time pissing people off rather than making things better for Muslims. This isn’t making things better for Muslims. It’s just a change in design of a stupid ice-cream cone.

  14. Rayan — on 17th September, 2005 at 12:55 pm  

    i C why U people dont see this as an offensive thing , coz u dont respect UR GOD or even ur religion! its ok for u guys to make jokes about UR GOD and picture him in a comic way as we see and reed in british tv shows and magazines,, ur so un respectful with ur own religion so dont expect muslim to do so with theirs.

  15. Eric — on 17th September, 2005 at 8:49 pm  

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been seen as a miracle of Islam, like these numerous examples.

    The MCB should take a leaf from the Christians, who immediately rush to the next bunch of crackpotS who think they have found a “crying Madonna” or at least make a fast buck when they find the Virgin Mary Mother Of God in a piece of toast.

    If I were you, I’d rush off to buy a few to flog later on ebay.

    In any case, what is the fuss over the resemblance with the Arabic? It isn’t as if they have put a picture of Mohammed (PBUH) up, saying “Burger king ice-cream, the choice of Allah”.

  16. Eric — on 17th September, 2005 at 8:55 pm  

    Of course, the real Islamophobes will think it is a subliminal message planted by a Hizb ut-Tahrir graphic designer to convert ice-cream eaters and restore the caliphate.

  17. The Virgin Mary — on 17th September, 2005 at 9:23 pm  
  18. Eric — on 17th September, 2005 at 9:32 pm  

    Marc (number 4) stop making sweeping assumptions about Muslims, like the ludicrous idea the MCB represent anything apart from their own views.

  19. douglas — on 17th September, 2005 at 10:54 pm  

    Rayan,

    That is frankly pathetic. If you are going to see every natural or created thing as an insult to your God you are frankly barking up the wrong tree. Nature and humans do things that have no significance, until someone like you chooses to make an issue of it. You really have to get a life out of fundamentalist theocracy. Telly is quite good.

    douglas

  20. douglas — on 17th September, 2005 at 10:56 pm  

    Eric,

    Some Islamophobes probably do believe that. They’d be the equivalent of anyone that believed in the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, wouldn’t you think?

    douglas

  21. Eric — on 17th September, 2005 at 11:40 pm  

    Well, there is a qualitative difference.

    While the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is a complete fabrication used to justify a Holocaust, and various pogroms before it, on the Jews, the desire to re-establish the Islamic Empire, and Al Qaeda’s declaration of war on the West, are most definately real. In fact, they charmingly issue videos of beheadings and the like to underline the point as well.

    To underline the point, there are, I would suggest, no Jewish organisations who place the “Protocols” approvingly on their website as a plan of action for Jews. Whereas, Sayid Qutb’s writings are approvingly placed on this Canadian Muslim website.

    So no, they arn’t quite as bad as those who believe in the Protocols, since there is a conspiracy by extremists to re-establish an Islamic Empire, or at least make the Middle East, and dear old Andalucia which they can’t stop sighing about, a desolute monoculture.

    Where I depart from Islamophobes, is that they probably think every Muslim (or even more stupidly any Asian who looks vaguely Muslim) is working towards this, by any means necessary, when in fact there are progressive non-communalist Muslims who oppose the jihadists and are deserving of the support of all.

  22. douglas — on 18th September, 2005 at 1:38 pm  

    Eric,

    Well said.

    douglas

  23. Mosquabitch — on 20th September, 2005 at 5:22 pm  

    Surely it’s “sacrelicious”?

    (c) The Simpsons

  24. Arif — on 21st September, 2005 at 12:49 pm  

    Sounds to me like MCB is just responding to other people’s concerns – not creating a big movement for dessert policing. Someone got irate and sensitive about a religious sign apparently being used in a commercial operation, so people had to respond. MCB and BK decided to be sensitive to this straight away. Everything seems fine to me.

    Separating commercial and religious imagery is something we normally take for granted. Probably because it is policed by the most sensitive people in these religious communities. I’m quite happy for things to be this way. I think the boundaries of commercial imagery already go too far with posters of naked women surrounding my local mosque and so on.

    If there is a conscious understanding and appropriation of religious imagery by believers themselves, it would not offend anyone. Mecca and Qibla Cola were set up as an alternative to drinking brands that people associated with anti-Muslim politics. And maybe BK is afraid that people may see a chance to promote halal alternatives to their icecreams and burgers. What was a good Muslim like Rashad Akhtar doing going into a corrupt unGodly institution like BK in the first place? Don’t they have Dallas Fried Chicken in High Wycombe?

  25. Sunny — on 23rd September, 2005 at 12:38 am  

    What concerns? One guy thinks that swirl looks like an Arabic word when tilted to the side. That is hardly going around with a banner saying ‘Muslims out’ or ‘Islam is bad’ etc etc.

    It isn’t a religious sign to start with (the swirl), so there is no point BK making it one. They should have just ignored the this person.

    And the MCB, well they are just making themselves look increasingly foolish by pandering to this excessive pc-ness.

  26. Mary in LA — on 26th September, 2005 at 8:51 pm  

    ‘The US fast-food giant said it would withdraw the packaging in ‘the near future’ once an alternative has been designed.

    ‘But the action has failed to satisfy Akhtar, who wants the designer sacked and is calling on Muslims to boycott the fast-food company.

    ‘Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe, who is married and a business development manager, said: “Them [BK] recalling this product is not sufficient. It should be taken away from the stores now.

    “I have had no correspondence from Burger King.

    “These people who have designed this think they can get away with this again and again. This is my jihad.

    “How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way – to the right, you are offending Muslims.

    “I ordered my food and then got talking to a worker, a French guy.

    “He asked me: ‘Are you Muslim?’

    “He showed me the cone.

    “I felt humiliated.”

    He wants the designer sacked? This is his own personal jihad, he says?

    This Akhtar guy sounds like a complete nutjob to me. Or worse, just someone who wants his 15 minutes of fame and doesn’t care how he gets it.

  27. jacal — on 28th September, 2005 at 1:39 pm  

    people accept that life is strange, and people should be allowed to express views. If akhtar is offened by it he should be allowed to say. If marc does not like burkhas, thats his view.

    we live in a world of differences so just deal with it or change the world proplery. join politocs and stop hiding behind forums and get on with what life is about. Living

  28. Scraptoft Bard — on 11th October, 2005 at 6:11 pm  
  29. Mina — on 14th October, 2005 at 2:32 am  

    look u uneducated twits i have to speak this way coz it doesn’t look like our Mr Marc is able to understand any otherform of the english language. if u don’t understand or have the capability of understanding the reasons for why this logo would offend muslims then u shouldn’t make a comment. you may not have any faith in your religion but we muslims do, we respect and honor our allah more than anything in or out of this world. the reason why this is offensive to muslims is because the logo clearly says allah in arabic now if someone buys this ice cream and then throws the lid in the bin or on the floor for people to walk over, then this is an insult to islam. we are just standing up for what we as muslims believe no one is asking u to kiss arse, coz it sounds like ur an arse urself with no knowledge of religion what so ever.
    and Laura u might think ur being clever but ur not basically if someone goes to buger king it is not necessary that they are going to buy a buger u see BK sell many things like FISH bugers, VEGGIE bugers, BEAN bugers, TEA, COFFEE, FRIES these are things that muslims can eat and i’m sure BK does not restrict muslims from their restaurants so who r u to suggest such a thing, i know that some people would prefer to go to places where they don’t see and asian faces but those days have gone now, i’m afraid if u want that then the only place i can think of is church so i guess u could hang out there from now on, now what i suddgest to u is u could try to get a job at buger king to see that there is probably more on offer for muslims than you might think.
    anyway all i want to say is i respect the muslims who have the guts to stand up for their belifes and speak up, islam forever.

  30. Paul — on 3rd November, 2005 at 2:11 pm  

    hello everyone
    well well well
    guess i got late here
    but i would like to say sumthing
    y is it that every negative event involves muslims and islam
    dont any of muslims ever think of it
    wat the f**k does a con logo have to do with allah
    i wud have appreciated if BK had held on to the logo
    y the f**k are these muslims always bringing their arse to be kicked
    if u have so many problems with western society and corporate sector y the f**k are u in west than
    go home and stay in madrasas
    if u cum here than live like those here
    i hope sum of u muslims ahve the sense to understand what i m saying

  31. AJ — on 6th November, 2005 at 2:23 am  

    Most non-muslims dont seem to understand wat Islam is realli all about and how sacred Allah and even the Arabic Letters that make the name up realli is to the religon. Ignorance is bliss, eh Paul? Sunny? Douglas? And everyone else who wrote negative comments based on this article? The Muslims sensitivity just goes to show u how much they praise there God. They praise Him so much that even his name Allah alone is considered to be sacred. Yo Sunny? In Islam, any situation based on ur article and regarding the word Allah, even if something simply looks lyke his name is worth getting stressed out for, since God is the Creator, Master and Sustainer of the universe. So until u do more research on Islam which i concluded u didnt, then i SUGGEST keeping ur damn mouth shut! It may all sound ‘absurd’ to u guyz because simply put: ur non-muslims and therefore we dont expect people lyke u to understand. Its pathetic that u guys still fail to understand Mina’s words even tho her explaination is very straightfoward and yet u guys insult other peoples religons without even realizing it? U must look at the situation at both ur point of u and that of a muslims where issues involving Allah u non-muslims belive to b ‘small’ and ‘pathetic’ are acutally deemed as significant. This all jus goes to show how seriously other religons are takin and i can tell by all ur vulgar comments that u dont give a shit about ur own religons, as Rayan mentioned. An icecream lids logo that looks lyke the name ‘Allah’? u may belive that we muslims r being sensitive about this but at least it didnt include offending or hurting anyone. While we muslims are sensitive and loving toward our God, u guys have been giving ur own religons a bad name and i think its jus sad and pitiful, and this oughta be the true issue that should b discussed. ur probably aware of the saying: “you gotta laugh at urself once in a while” but do u honestly belive that holy figures such as Christ and God Himself, would realli find humor watching people making a mockery out of them on tv? Sure muslims are sensitive about particular things you non-muslims unsurprisingly fail to understand, but its u guys that are going to far. i guess after learning all this, I shouldnt b suprised hearing u guys complain about how a muslim convinced burger king to take down there icecream logo because they strongly resemble ‘Allah’; after all, if u have the nerve to offend the figures ur own religions deem as holy, then yeah, whos surprised? Of course, Burger king never meant to create a logo intentionally to offend muslims, but the noble thing is they were sensitive enough to the feelings of muslims and decided to remove the logo. Im not saying all this jus cuz im muslim myself. It doesnt necessarily have to b a situation involving a MUSLIM to make burger kings deed noble to me. I would have considered it noble even if the muslim in the situation was replaced by a Chirstian, a Jew or any other member of another religon. We seem to b at a point where unless ur acutally a muslim, u’ll neva understand how Rashad Akhtar really felt.
    Oh, and Douglas? You insensitive, undeucated jackass? sure humans make mistakes, lyke the guys at burger king did with there logo, but havent u ever heard of fixing ur mistakes whether they are intentional or not? If humans are Entirely capable of making innocent mistakes when they r capable and responsible for fixing it. Rashad Akhtar’s situation involed insulting his God, thus his entire religon, and issues involving religon are all huge in this world no matter how ‘weird’ a non-muslim lyke u would think of itz beliefs. Oh, and Paul? You racist-sounding, dumb-ass bitch? Seems to me that YOU’RE the one bringing ur ass to b kicked! I hope YOU have the sense to understand everything i’ve been saying, or should someone smack u upside the head until u get ur bitchy attitude towards Muslims straight?
    If you all cant take ur own religions seriously, then y do u all expect muslims to act the same way? Say watever u want and whine about watever u want, but it seems to me that some of you non-muslims pointless retorts including the ones yet to come on this article oughta b urinated on and flushed down the toliet. No questions asked. My bitchy conclusion is i have NEVER been so PISSED OFF in my LIFE!!!!

  32. Nayyar — on 15th November, 2005 at 6:54 pm  

    I strongly oppose this and condemn this act .

  33. yas — on 15th November, 2005 at 8:23 pm  

    I strongly agree with AJ, these guys dont know what they are on about!

  34. roach — on 24th November, 2005 at 3:58 am  

    Wow ppl, the guy complained, BK changed the logo. Problem solved. Get the f**k over it.

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