Online Chinese retailer Shein apologized for selling Muslim prayer mats as decorative rugs. The images of prayer mats as rugs from the website of Shein circulated on social media that triggered a heated reaction from Muslims.
Social media users slammed the Chinese retailer for religious insensitivity. Hence, following the backlash Shein apologized to its customers for selling prayer mats as decorative rugs on their website.
Shein apologized to Muslims
“We offer our sincerest apology to all those whom we have hurt and offended, and hope we can earn your forgiveness,” said the brand in a social media post on Instagram.
The brand apologized for the “highly insensitive oversight” and informed its customers that they have immediately removed the product from their site. Also, they have asked other vendors to stop the selling of the product.
“We have also formed a product review committee with staff from different cultures and religions so a mistake like doesn’t happen again,” read the post.
Also, the company vowed to do a better job of educating themselves on different religions, cultures, and traditions to ensure the diverse range of its customers are well respected and honored.
The clothing brand concluded its message with a sincere apology from its Muslim customers.
Shein sold prayers mats as decorative rugs
The clothing brand, Shein, came in action after week-long vitriol from social media users. They called the selling of prayers mats as decorative rugs ‘highly offensive’. Moreover, a few netizens called it an absurd instance of cultural appropriation.
The users slammed the brand for making profits from prayers mats despite the picture of the Holy Kaabah and mosque on it. Before removing the product, the clothing brand Shein had advertised it as ‘Greek mats’. The clothing brand sold the prayer mats for $10-17. The description of the product on the website read, ‘Fringe Trim Greek Fret Carpet.’ While some were adorned with mosques, other prayer mats had Arabic motifs.
Instagram users posted images of prayer mats sold as rugs
An Instagram user named Khadija had shared images of the prayers mats advertised on Chinese retail site Shein. She called for the boycott of the brand.
‘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,’ the Instagram user wrote.
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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
‘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.’
Stop profiting off our culture.
Just give credit and hire Desi models if you’re going to sell Desi clothes@SHEIN_official what a damn shame
— S Khadija R (@skhadijar) July 1, 2020
She explained that prayer mats are not ordinary carpets or decorative rugs as shown on Shein. But a revered fabric that Muslims use to offer their prayers. “It is NOT a carpet and must be treated with respect and you don’t ever wear shoes on it,’ she stressed. ‘We need to acknowledge the disrespect that is committed here, and that action must be taken to remove this product from their line.’ The Holy Kaabah is a sacred site for Muslims in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The product reviews on the website showed buyers used the prayer mats for other reasons than praying. One review showed the buyer used it for the pet cat.
— 👀💯 (@inaherhighness) July 3, 2020
In her post, Khadija also posted the screenshots of reviews from the customer. The reviews showed people used to place it on their coffee tables as well. The Instagram user even urged her peers and friends to boycott the brand. Her social media post then triggered an onslaught of criticism on the clothing brand, Shein.