Online retailor Shein came under fire last weekend after the post on its official page selling Muslim prayer mats as decorative rugs went viral on social media.
Many consumers took to social media while expressing their anger over the brand’s selling of prayer mats as decorative pieces saying that they were disgusted at the religious insensitivity and upset at the same time that the seller was making money selling holy mats labeling them “fringe trim Greek fret carpets” despite having a picture of the Holy Kabah and mosques on them.
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UPDATE: @sheinofficial has now removed most of these items from their website, which is what we wanted; however there’s been no acknowledgement, statement or apology from them. . I am disgusted. I am livid. @sheinofficial is also PROFITING off muslim prayer mats (janemaz/sajadah) by selling them as ‘fringe trim carpets’ for people to use casually around the house. A few have the Kaaba printed on them. THIS IS HIGHLY OFFENSIVE, Not only is it disrespectful but they once again renamed and stole credit from a whole faith this time, by failing to label it as a muslim prayer mat; which allows people to use it casually as a decorative mat. *A prayer mat is an important piece of fabric, used by Muslims, placed between the ground and the worshipper during their five daily prayers. It is NOT a carpet and must be treated with respect and you don’t ever wear shoes on it. It's important for us to acknowledge the disrespect that is committed here, and that action must be taken to remove this product from their line. Corporate organisations can be difficult to take down, but you can do your bit by: -BOYCOTTING THEM -RAISING SOCIAL MEDIA AWARENESS (can really make a difference) – SENDING EMAILS . They are a company based in china, which makes it more difficult to take certain actions, therefore tagging and raising awareness which will enable people to boycott them is the way forward until they take down the items, acknowledge and apologise. If anyone has any ideas of what more we can do, DM me. . Thanks to @toobzz__ for bringing my attention to this. . #shein #sheinofficial #muslim #prayermat #culturalappropriation #islam #china
repeat after me.
STOP SHOPPING AT SHEIN. pic.twitter.com/ud87Q9WP9J
— haleema (@leemaxbuswell) July 4, 2020
@SHEIN_official first y’all sell jhumkas on your site as “tassel drop earrings”, then you sell salwar kameez as “split hem tunics”, and NOW since all of that cultural appropriation wasn’t enough, y’all are selling the muslim prayer mat as “fringe trim carpets”. r u serious rn? pic.twitter.com/JowvlJEFlP
— Etiha (@EtihaA) July 3, 2020
Facing the massive criticism, the brand took the items off their website and made a public apology on their official Instagram, stating that it was allegedly a serious mistake on their site.
“To our community – we made a serious mistake recently by selling prayer mats as decorative rugs on our site. We understand this was a highly offensive oversight and are truly sorry,” read the public apology.
“Since it was brought to our attention, we immediately removed the products from our website and asked our vendor to stop selling to others,” it added.
The brand also decided to rectify its mistake by notifying consumers that they found a “product review committee” with staff from “different cultures and religions” to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The note also stated, “As a global brand, we vow to do much better in educating ourselves on different cultures, religions and traditions to ensure our diverse community is respected and honored. We offer our sincerest apologies to all whom we have hurt and offended and hope we can earn your forgiveness”.