Sale of undergarments with religious verses sparks anger

A Staff Reporter
Filed on April 20, 2006

SHARJAH — Many Christians and Muslim customers who shopped at the annual commercial fair of garments, perfumes, shoes and various stuff in Al Shaab Club in Sharjah expressed their anger and indignation over the selling of ladies underwear in which religious verses that include the name of God and Jesus Christ are printed clearly.

Moza Al Ahmedi, a customer who visited the Shop No. 44 run by a Chinese seller, said: “I was shocked at the words printed on the underwear. The words read: ‘For God So Love the World that He Gave His Only Begotten Son’. These words should be written on a respectable object, not on underwears.”

She added: “I talked to the salesperson about it and warned her not to sell these underwear, but she brushed me off, saying ‘take it or leave it’. When I told her I will not buy it, she asked me to leave her shop before she calls the security. I’m a Muslim, but I felt offended as well by the mention of Christ, because I believe in prophets and heavenly books, as the Holy Quran ordered us to respect other religions. I hope the authority tightens its supervision on ports and makes sure such items should not enter the UAE, being a Muslim country.”

Thomas Jacob said these words are from the Bible: “They should not be printed on the underwear. It is highly offensive to Christians. It makes a mockery of God.”

Ghada Gabriel said that there are many people who don’t know how to read English. They would feel bad if they buy the underwear and use it with God and Jesus Christ printed on it. These products which are made in China should immediately be withdrawn from the markets in the country not only from the Al Shaab Club in Sharjah.”

Mohammed Al Imam, Islamic scholar from the Sharjah Islamic Affairs and Auqaf, said that we will not accept any kind of blasphemy targeting any religion. Insulting Jesus Christ is like insulting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

An official from the Sharjah Municipality said that they would send the inspectors to Al Shaab Club to confirm the violation. “If the shop is found selling products offensive to any religion, then the municipality will take serious action against it,” the official said.

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