Online fashion retailer Shein has issued a public apology after facing fierce backlash for selling Muslim prayer mats as a home decorative item on its official site, despite many of the rugs bearing motifs of Islamic holy sites.
The fast-fashion retailer came under fire after its products caught the eye of a journalism student from the University of Salford, Khadija Rizvi, who posted now-viral screenshots of the mats on social media.
Many of the Muslim mats, which were advertised as "frilled Greek carpets," bore motifs of mosques and the Ka’aba, which is considered the most sacred Islamic site by Muslims around the world.
One of the mats, priced at $17, depicted a picture of the Ka’aba and was described as the “Fringe Trim Greek Fret Carpet.”
The online store apologized for the “highly insensitive oversight” and announced the removal of the products from its website after the publication unleashed a maelstrom of criticism on social media.
‘We’re sorry. As a global brand, we vow to do a much better job in educating ourselves on different cultures, religions, and traditions to ensure our diverse community is respected and honored," said the brand on Instagram.
“We offer our sincerest apology to all those whom we have hurt and offended, and hope we can earn your forgiveness,” the statement said on Sunday.
Bangladeshi-American beauty vlogger Nabela Noor also slammed the company for profiting off the prayer mats, underlining that they are sacred to Muslims.
"My culture and religion is not a trend or something to rebrand and sell," she said.