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Amazon removes bath mats, doormats after reports that products were offensive to people of Muslim faith

CAIR strikes again

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon yanked certain products from its online marketplace after the Council on American-Islamic Relations pointed out that the merchandise was offensive to people within the Muslim community.

What's this merchandise?

The organization issued a statement Thursday asking Amazon to remove the offending merchandise, which included bath mats, doormats, and other similar merchandise that featured references to Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

A portion of the statement said, "The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today asked online retailer Amazon to remove a number of doormats and bath mats imprinted with Islamic calligraphy, references to the Prophet Muhammad and verses from the Quran, Islam's holy text."

"CAIR said it received complaints about the items offered by Amazon seller Emvency that are offensive to Muslims because the Quranic verses and other Islamic references would be stepped-on or otherwise disrespected by customers," the statement added.

What are the details?

On Tuesday, Amazon announced that they would be removing the merchandise — which was sold by independent merchants — from its marketplace.

A spokesperson for Amazon told CNN, "All sellers must follow our selling guidelines, and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The products in question are being removed from our store."

In response to Amazon's announcement, Masih Fouladi, who is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Washington state chapter, expressed gratitude to the Washington-based company.

"We thank Amazon for its swift action on this issue and hope it sends a message to manufacturers of such inappropriate and offensive items that they will not profit from Islamophobia or any other form of bigotry," Fouladi's statement read.

The organization said that it would work with the online retail giant to "ensure that products are not exploiting or promoting bigotry for commercial gain."

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told CNN that some of the products could be considered innocuous enough, but others crossed the line.

"I don't think it would be appropriate to have a toilet seat with the image of a Bible on it either," Hooper said. "It's just inappropriate stuff.

"My gut feeling is that at least for the bath mats, shower curtains, and stuff like that, it's these companies just slapping these designs on everything without even thinking about it," Hooper continued.

"But there are others crossing the line into intentional Islamophobia," he added. "Some of the companies have things like toilet seats. I mean come on, why else would you do that?"

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