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article imageEgyptian Cleric wants to shut down Starbucks in the Arab world

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 26, 2009 in World
An Egyptian Muslim cleric complains that Starbucks is using “Esther” the Queen of the Jews in their logo and wants all Muslims to boycott the shop and wants the King to shut down Starbucks in Mecca and Medina.
Starbucks already has plenty of worries less sales and too much competition, now it has to worry about another one from Egypt.
Safwat Higazi, an Egyptian cleric said in his speech to his TV audience that they should all boycott Starbucks for offending the Muslims by using the Hebrew Biblical character “Esther” in their logo.
He said in his speech:
"The girl in the Starbucks logo is Queen Esther. Do you know who Queen Esther was and what the crown on her head means? This is the crown of the Persian kingdom. This queen is the queen of the Jews. She is mentioned in the Torah, in the Book of Esther. The girl you see is Esther, the queen of the Jews in Persia."
He urged his followers not only to boycott the Starbucks but also ask others to stop going there. But at least he is decent by advocating peace protests, he doesn’t want his followers to use violence to promote this boycott.
Higazi requested the Saudi King to shut down the Starbucks located opposite the King Abdul Aziz Gate in Mecca and opposite the Al-Majid Gate in Al-Madina. He also wants the Starbucks shops in Cairo to be shut down as well.
He narrated the “Queen Esther” story to make his point. King Xerxes chose the Jewish Esther from a group of seven beautiful virgin girls. After the King selected Esther, he placed a crown on her head making her the “Queen of Persia”. Higazi claims the crown in the logo resembles the crown of Esther and hence wants all Muslims to boycott Starbucks.
He closed his speech with the following:
"We want Starbucks to be shut down throughout the Arab and Islamic world. We want it to be shut down in Mecca and in Al-Medina. I implore King Abdallah bin Abd Al-‘Aziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: It is inconceivable that in Mecca and Al-Madina, there will be a picture of Queen Esther, the queen of the Jews."
The original logo of Starbucks was conceived in 1971 and it represents a mythical two-tailed mermaid. It is based on Greek mythology, a half-fish/half-female (a mermaid). The original version had a semi-nude figure and later it was transformed to a cleaner and public-friendly current image version we see in Starbucks.
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