CAPE TOWN – A South African shoe retailer has apologized to the country’s Muslim community after using the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on their latest items.
“Wasservall was given fair opportunity to present his case and gave a detailed explanation of how the improper use of the name of our most beloved Prophet‚ Muhammad (peace be upon Him)‚ came to be‚” MJC president Shaykh Abrahams said in a statement.
The dilemma started after Shoe City, a member of Pepkor Group, used the name Muhammad on the price tag on their show box.
The technique of using names was applied recently by the company to replace the ordinary stock-keeping unit number.
A post showing a price tag with the name Muhammad on its sole and outside the shoe’s box reached the council at the weekend after circulating on social media.
“The list of names was provided by their IT specialists who Googled the most popular men’s names‚” said the statement.
The council accepted Shoe City’s apology, “and was assured that all shoes carrying this price tag will be recalled, and that a small committee would be established to investigate the list of names being used in future labeling opportunities.”
On the council’s request‚ Shoe City wrote a formal apology on its official South African Facebook page on Monday.
“We wish to sincerely apologize for offending our Muslim customers … All these names are generated automatically from a database. Unfortunately‚ due to the automated nature of the process‚ Muhammad was one of the names that was generated. This was an oversight on our part‚ an oversight for which we take full responsibility‚” read the post.
The company recalled the items in question from all their stores and the offensive labeling will be removed.
“We have removed the name from our database; the database of names is being reviewed to prevent this from happening again‚” said Shoe City.