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Myanmar: Outrage Over ‘Buddha Shoes’

Myanmar netizens are outraged over the ‘Buddha shoes’ created by a company called Icon Shoes. Nang Nyi was one of the netizens who left a complaint in the facebook page of Icon Shoes:

I wrote a complaint in the FB wall of Icon Shoes Company just now. They should not do so. I have no idea what motivated them to create those designs. Two pages of them will appear if you type “Icon Shoes” in FB search box.

Yan Yan Chan, a famous rapper, commented [my] on that post by providing a link to the feedback form of the Icon Shoes website:

You can complain here. FB page is not that useful.

A couple of famous local bloggers joined the discussion as well. They requested their readers to send complaint letters against those shoe designs. Some netizens also created protest images which featured the Icon Shoes logo together with the controversial shoes. One Ko Ko Aung reminded the company not to insult religion:

Regardless of who they are, religion should not be insulted. There are a number of religion related problems recently.

Nyein Chan expressed his frustration as well:

What if we put Jesus or Muhammad on our shoes? Shame on you.

The image asking netizens to send complaints to Icon Shoes for using Buddha images in their shoe designs. Photo - Lin Oo (Psychology)

The image asking netizens to send complaints to Icon Shoes for using Buddha images in their shoe designs. Photo – Lin Oo (Psychology)

Lin Oo (Psychology) observes [my] how Buddha images are casually used by many people in designing products:

We have been seeing that Buddha statues are used as fancy stuff in bars and recreation centres regardless of other people's religious beliefs.

Now, American based Icon Shoes produced shoes with Buddha image designs. Buddhists around the world are also complaining about this. We can also send feedback through their Facebook page.

Another community blog called Moemakha urged [my] readers to show protest by flooding the company with complaint letters:

We found out that a shoe company called Icon Shoes based in Califonia is selling shoes designed with Buddha images and floral arabesque. Three designs of such shoes are produced in USA and are being sold within the price range of $29 to $149. Their “About Us” page mentioned Icon Shoes was founded by an anonymous filmmaker from Hollywood in 1999.

We are completely against the improper use of Buddha images on shoes which insult the graciousness of Buddha. We sent a complaint mail to Icon Shoes. We request you, our readers, to send protest messages in their Facebook page.

Khin Sandar Ko also posted her opinion on Icon Shoes:

their motto says “Icon is for the art lover and the woman who loves shoes and handbags. We support artists by paying royalty for the use of their art” …

What I wrote is “Icon never respects other people's valuable things.
We support shoe designers by insulting other people's religion.”

Kyaw Myo Khaing shares his observation on the repeated insult to Buddhism in many places:

Akon did sexy dance in front of Buddha statue. There's a bar called Buddha Bar in France. We've once seen the use of Buddha images on clothing. And now, on shoes! Enough is enough, guys. It will be too shameful for our 21st century society if Buddhists are repeatedly insulted just because they do not protest or voice out enough. It's like the babies couldn't get snack because they do not cry enough. The nature of Buddhism is to promote calm and peace. Please do not bully us for the sake of fancy art.

On August 5, 2012, although many people thought that Icon Shoes seemed to have removed the controversial products from their website, it is believed that only users from Singapore where most of the people complained live are blocked to access their website .  But the complaints asking not to use Buddha images on their shoes are still being posted on their Facebook page almost every minute.

26 comments

  • Guest

    OMG….
    They are insulting us all the possible ways.
    This is the one of their attempts , if I recalled correctly , Victoria Secret also tried to sale the Buddha Bikini around year 2000 or late 90s.
    Terrible……
    They will pay for their acts
     

  • Udithap

    I hate Icon shoes… Don’t insult Religion. 

  • Zackmocky

    I would bet my bottom dollar they have no guts to make Jesus or Mohamed shoes.

    • Dev

      We do not want anyone to make shoes or any other thing that will be an insult to others’ religions and beliefs. We as Buddhists respect others’ beliefs and religions and this type of act by people like Icon Show only proves that either they do not believe in a religion OR that their religion encourages them to insult others’ beliefs.

  • No one has rights to hurt
    other religion. If this shoe design catalog hurts the peaceful
    religion Buddhist, then what the hell this company is acting against
    pure peaceful sentiment of such best part of the world! Responsible persons
    need to bring for confession and punish them for their serious
    misconduct against other religion.

  • Chhatra Magar

    No one has rights to hurt
    other religion. If this shoe design catalog hurts the peaceful
    religion Buddhism, then what the hell this company is acting against
    pure peace sentiment of such best part of the world! Responsible culprits
    need to bring for confession and punish them for their serious
    misconduct against other religion.

  • Tookwit

    Listen to yourselves, “Hate” – “Pay for your acts.” …. 

  • Tom Olzak

    Would the Buddha be angry? No. Metta.

  • Phạm Quốc Bình

    I suggest that you come to join to sign the protest petition at:
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_using_Buddha_Image_on_Shoes/ 

    We, the International Buddhist community would like to see the concerned business houses, designers and production companies immediately stop using any type of Buddhist images on any of their goods. We want the concerned companies to pull-out all existing catalogs from their retailers or online shops and stop selling such goods which is against the sentiments of all Buddhist around the world. Additionally, we do not want any companies to repeat such disrespectful action in the future. 

  • Jeckwilliam

    good. it is a beautiful i like.

  • yen

    congratulations to stupid designers for designing Buddha shoes.

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