An alcohol company in Germany triggered a firestorm of criticism on social media after it used Saudi Arabia’s flag with the Islamic creed on liquor bottle caps.
According to the Saudi Gazette, Eichbaum brewery, located in the southwestern German city of Mannheim, infuriated Muslims around the world after it used the Saudi Arabian flag with the Kalimat Al-Tawheed, a key statement of Islamic faith, on the caps of its beer bottles.
The Gulf kingdom’s flag isn’t just a flag; it contains words which are essentially the crux of Muslim belief.
Moreover, it is a widely known fact, beer, or any other type of alcohol, is deemed haram by Islamic law. Hence, the consumption of the alcoholic beverage is banned in Saudi Arabia and practicing Muslims all across the globe usually abstain from drinking it.
In light of these important factors, the German firm’s thoughtless move was bound to draw widespread criticism and concern from Muslims even across the border.
This is not only Flag this states everything we are.— Rehman Ghani Arain (@rehmanghani127) May 11, 2018
The Muslim community’s message to the company was loud and clear; it had disrespected their sentiments and they demanded withdrawal of the product from the market.
Twitter user Dost Khan in his tweet said: “In Germany an alcohol company Eichbaum Bier wrote Lailaheillallah Muhammad Rasulullah on the cap of the beer bottle to hurt muslims. Germany should take action & force this company to apologize for this actions or embrace (face) itself for all kinds of reaction from muslims.”
Another user tweeted, “In the doctrine of Islam, alcohol is one of the greatest sins. Putting the slogan of Saudi Arabia on this product is an insult to the Islamic religion. Please change your product and make an apology.”
Some users even called for authorities to take legal action against the brewers and others pointed out how, after drinking the beverage, many will discard the caps in the bin — a thing that is considered extremely disrespectful in Islam.
Abdullah Al-Amer tweeted: “A judicial complaint must be lodged, the German company and the one who gave it permission should be taken to the court, named and shamed, and their names should be published in all international and local media.”
@SBOUALILI in her tweet said: “Kalimat Al-Tawheed” is Saudi Arabia’s flag on the covers of beer bottles in preparation for the Russian Mondial. First it is impermissible because it is on a liquor bottle. Secondly, when the bottle is opened the cover is thrown away in the garbage bin.”
The ensuing outrage on the social media caught the attention of the Saudi Embassy in Berlin, which then got in touch with the company to express its disappointment and denounce the offensive act.
The embassy also took the matter to German Foreign Ministry and other authorities to ensure the product is taken off the markets.
The brewing company’s marketing campaign, tied to celebrating the upcoming soccer tournament turned into a worldwide controversy, and soon it had to issue an apology.
Eichbaum posted a letter on Facebook which started with “Dear Muslims. We are not interested in religious or political comments — certainly not on our products. If we have unintentionally offended you, we sincerely apologize," the post read.
It went on to say the brewery wasn’t aware the words of the Saudi flag are Muslims’ statement of belief.
Nevertheless, the damage was done as many believe the company’s marketing stunt just to sell alcohol was completely unnecessary.
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