Holy balls: Bakso restaurant offers free meals for customers named Muhammad and Maryam

Bakso illustration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bakso illustration. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It was only a matter of time before somebody served up a steaming bowl of Holywings satire.

Bakso (beef meatballs) restaurant Bakso 55 Prasmanan is offering a free bowl of the Indonesian dish, a serving of dim sum, or steak for anyone named Muhammad, Maryam, Ahmad, Aisyah, and Fatimah. Those eligible need only present their KTP (ID cards) at the restaurant to claim their free meal.

It’s immediately apparent that Bakso 55’s promo is a thinly veiled dig at popular chain of nightlife establishments Holywings. 

In case you’ve been out of the loop, on a promotional social media post last week, Holywings promised a bottle of gin for men named Muhammad and for women named Maria every Thursday. The post sparked intense religious outrage in the Muslim-majority nation, prompting the arrest of six employees management said had acted independently and were thus solely responsible for creating and posting the promo. 

Authorities have shuttered all 12 Holywings outlets in Jakarta and more beyond the capital.

Bakso 55’s satirical promo clearly caters to Muslim customers. While the parallel to the last Islamic prophet is apparent, Maryam is the Islamic name for Mother Mary, who is known as Maria among Catholics and Christians in Indonesia. Ahmad, Aisyah, and Fatimah are also important figures in Islam.

While most commenters in the post are eager to get their free meals, a couple among them accused Bakso 55 of being no better than Holywings, in that the restaurant used the holy prophet’s name for commercial purposes. 

It must be pointed out, however, that much of the outrage towards Holywings was for its use of the Prophet Muhammad’s name to promote booze, which is haram (forbidden for consumption) in Islam.

Bakso 55 is located on Jalan Joglo Raya in Kembangan, West Jakarta.

More on the Holywings scandal

This free drinks for Muhammad promo didn’t go down well in Indonesia

Muhammad drinks promo fallout: Holywings says fate of 3,000 employees may be on the line amid pressure to close

Governor Anies Baswedan revokes permits for 12 Holywings outlets amid Muhammad controversy

Holywings may reopen after they sort out alcohol sales license: vice governor

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