Over the past week, Muslims all over the world have been pressuring Nike to redesign the logo on the soles of their Nike Air Max shoes because it allegedly resembles the Arabic script for “Allah” (God). As the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world, it was only a matter of time before Indonesian authorities looked into the issue seriously as well.
Yesterday, police carried out an inspection at a Nike factory in the Tangerang Regency of Banten to see if the allegedly blasphemous Air Max designs were being produced in Indonesia.
“Our visit is to act on the information about the shoe design that’s said to resemble the script for Allah,” Tangerang City Police Chief Grand Commissioner Sabilul Alif said during the inspection yesterday, as quoted by Suara.
“They were not found [here]. We checked earlier.”
Sabilul then urged the public to report to the police if they found the shoes being sold or worn in public.
The allegedly blasphemous Air Max model is being sold in Indonesia, but it’s not known if they were produced in any of the Nike factories in the country. On Indonesian e-commerce websites, the shoes are still available for purchase, but they are said to be imported from abroad.
In a statement, the sportswear company said the logo was a stylized representation of the Air Max trademark and that “Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional.” Nike has not explicitly stated that it would recall the controversial shoes but said that it would take the petitioners’ concerns seriously.