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In Bangladesh, Slippers Seen as Slap at Allah

June 24, 1989|From Reuters

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Muslim fundamentalists fought in the streets of Dhaka on Friday, pelting stones at shoe shops selling rubber slippers bearing a motif that apparently resembled the Arabic characters spelling Allah.

At least 50 people were injured in the protest, called by student and youth groups after newspapers printed pictures of the slipper made by the Canadian shoe company Bata.

The government had already ordered the confiscation of all the offending slippers. Bata said the motif on the shoes, intended to depict "hanging bells," had been mistaken for Arabic writing familiar throughout the Muslim world.

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