Lego to Pull ‘Anti-Islamic’ Star Wars Toy Set Following Muslim Furor?

UPDATE: This story has been updated with a response from Lego.

As TheBlaze reported back in January, Austrian Muslims became outraged when they saw that Lego, a popular children’s toy company, created something they viewed as anti-Islamic in nature. Following months of intense angst and debate, Lego has reportedly agreed to stop making one of its Star Wars toy sets in an effort to temper the storm.

Called “Jabba’s Palace,” the set features a giant alien who resides in a building that, according to critics, resembles a mosque. The scenario was first put on sale in 2012 as part of Lego’s Star Wars collection, but it wasn’t until this past January that the toy started to spark debate, The Independent reports.

Jabba’s Palace Lego toy (Photo Credit: Lego)

The outlet explains the controversy in detail, highlighting the purportedly anti-Islamic nature of “Jabba’s Palace”:

The game, which is aimed at children aged from nine to 14, features Jabba the Hutt in his intergalactic lair. Jabba, the slug-like villain who first appeared in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, lives in a domed, oriental-looking building equipped with rockets and machine guns. He also smokes a water pipe and keeps Princess Leia in chains for use as his personal slave.

Furious Muslim critics complained that the Lego set’s Asian and oriental figures were “deceitful and criminal” characters such as gun-runners, slave masters and terrorists.

Melissa Gunes, a spokesperson for Austria’s Turkish Cultural Association (TCA), told The Independent that the toy doesn’t belong in kids’ bedrooms, as the palace that is depicted is said to look like the Hagia Sophia mosque, an Islamic house of worship in Istanbul.

“The game is pedagogical dynamite. It depicts Muslims as terrorists,” the cultural association added.

Jabba’s Palace Lego toy (Photo Credit: Lego)

Initially, Lego rebuffed attempts to have the toy pulled off shelves, arguing that the company had merely followed the Star Wars films in creating the scenario and that there was nothing sinister about it at all. But it seems that the company has now decided to cease production of the toy starting in 2014.

After Muslim officials met with Lego leaders, the decision to pull “Jabba’s Palace” was purportedly made. TCA is predictably happy with Lego’s decision.

While Lego hasn’t yet commented on the latest development in the controversy, the company previously said that the toy was not modeled after any actual buildings.

“The LEGO Star Wars product Jabba’s Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque,” said LEGO spokeswoman Katharina Sasse. “We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.”

(H/T: The Independent)