Row erupts in UK over ‘Allah’ toilet paper which ‘insults Islam’

Row erupts in UK over ‘Allah’ toilet paper which ‘insults Islam’ January 24, 2019

AN aloe vera leaf pattern on toilet paper sold by UK retailer Marks and Spencer has been interpreted as the Arabic sign for Allah, and Muslims are being urged to boycott M&S stores.

A YouTube video posted online by an unidentified man shows the Aloe Vera 3-ply toilet tissue. Speaking on the video, the man urges his “brothers and sisters” not to buy the £2.50 roll because:

Every toilet tissue has the name of Allah on it.

But Marks and Spencer have dismissed the claim as rubbish. Responding on Twitter it insisted that the pattern is:

Categorically of an aloe vera leaf.

Image via YouTube

The clip, which has been shared widely over the last few days, shows one roll taken out of the pack and placed on the roof of a car. Whilst zooming in on the bog roll. the narrator says:

Recently I bought toilet tissue from Marks & Spencer and when I opened one of them, it has the name of Allah, as you can see. So please brothers and sisters, prevent yourselves from buying this particular toilet tissue, or try boycott Marks & Spencers, because every toilet tissue has the name of Allah on it.

The video has attracted a lot of attention on social media with many supporting the claims. One person commented: ‘#boycottmarksandspencer!’ while another said:

No heart, absolutely no heart. Just why?

Another YouTube user commented:

Shame on M&S. I never expected M&S to go so low morally. I support a full Boycott of M&S.

On Facebook, Samira Akhtar shared the footage along with a lengthy caption. She said:

This is absolutely disgusting and has caused upset and sadness to me and many people. It’s even more upsetting that they are trying to say that the word is in actual fact a representation of an aloe vera plant. I for one will definitely be boycotting M&S products and encourage those who believe this product is causing offence to do the same.

A petition which is demanding the store to change its pattern now has more than 3,000 signatures.

If M&S buckles under pressure to remove the product, it should leave an opening for another manufacturer who could create a genuinely offensive alternative.

Musa Ahmed, who created the petition, said the toilet paper was:

Deliberately insulting our religion.

The petition says:

This is a very weasly and pathetic attempt to insult Islam. Nike did something similar in 1997 when they had ‘Allah’ written on their trainers but eventually they had to stop the production due to complaints.

However, some people shared messages of support for M&S. On Twitter, Amina Jane Ishaq said:

Sorry you’ve had to deal with such a ridiculous thing M&S! Yet again I’m embarrassed by my fellow Muslims. I love your stores and will continue shopping in them.

YouTube user Jason King said:

This is called pareidolia. That’s when your brain sees a pattern that isn’t really there. For example, when you look at a cloud and it looks like a rabbit, or you look at the moon and see a face. Religious people tend to suffer from it more than most. They see the face of Jesus in a slice of toast, or the name of God on toilet paper. So do people who are into conspiracy theories.

A Tweet from M&S’s official account said:

The motif on the aloe vera toilet tissue, which we have been selling for over five years, is categorically of an aloe vera leaf and we have investigated and confirmed this with our suppliers.

And speaking of petitions, one has been launched demanding that DC Comics Second Coming series be scrapped because it depicts Jesus as a superhero.

We reported on the about-to-be-released series here.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • ephemerol

    Oh god. But seriously, here in the U.S. somebody should sell bible toilet paper, where every roll is a scroll with a passage of biblical text either printed or quilted.

  • Am I the only one who thinks this is no more than a gutter press hate campaign?

  • Vanity Unfair

    I took a look on Google Translate and found that their suggestion for the Arabic spelling for Allah bears no resemblance to the picture above. I do not claim that Google translate is infallible, after all, who is? However, it does look to me like the Arabic numerals 41. This is obviously a slighting reference to the sacred number 42 and for that reason the product should be boycotted (oops, another holy name) to force its removal.

  • WallofSleep

    “… because every toilet tissue has the name of Allah on it.”

    More than enough reason for me to use it for it’s intended purpose, only it isn’t so.

  • MarquisDeMoo

    This is why taking offence should never be the measure of what is offensive language. Some stupid people see offence where there is none.

  • Barry Duke

    Yes, you probably are. Some imbecile creates a petition that could have no other result than to make Muslims look foolish. It was bound to be picked up by the media, who cannot, by the furthest stretch of the imagination, be accused of a hate campaign by publicising it.

  • Sau Peih

    I see a vagina. I am now offended that the word for “Allah” could possibly look like a vagina.

    But seriously, this group realised long ago that being “offended” is a quick way to what they want – more Islam and more fear. Everyone tips around the religion (with adherents even not required to follow all of UK law – farewell the Rule of Law with that!). So I’m glad that M&S has said “no it’s not”, but than “ohhhh self-proclaimed offence; we must bow down and beg for forgiveness”. I just hope M&S sticks to its guns.

  • Is there even one reputable news source in the UK that’s reporting this? The culprit has less responses on her Facebook campaign than you have on this post. This doesn’t even qualify as much of a molehill.

  • Sau Peih

    “Arabic numerals”? Surely you mean Indian numerals, which were taken back to the Middle East by traders. Although I note that some people insist on calling them “Arabic numerals” for PC reasons.

  • Jemolk

    They should be very glad I don’t get to decide how the response would go. I would have gladly offered some deliberate insults for comparison.

  • Cali Ron

    My toilet paper doesn’t have allah’s name on it, but it does have his image on it when I’m done. Frankly, he looks like shit.

  • Jim Baerg

    FWIW Islamic calligraphy often takes the word & modifies it so it looks somewhat like a picture of an object. That struck me as being to the Muslim prohibition on graven images as Catholics eating fish on Friday is to the prohibition of eating meat on Friday.
    Maybe that practice makes Muslims even more prone to such pareidolia.

  • justdave

    This is stupid. If your omnipotent god created the universe, knows everything, then words, letters, ideas, etc. cannot hurt it. An all powerful god does not need mere humans to protect it.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I call them Arabic because that is the name by which they are known in Western Europe whither they arrived from what is now India via the Middle East. Nobody here knew that at the time. That might be the only benefit derived from the Crusades. It was only much later that their provenance in India became known in these benighted lands but by that time the name had stuck and we are still stuck with it along with turkeys, Roman candles and spanish. (Note the lower case s. In my area it is a synonym for liquorice- also Indian.) Roman numerals, derived from Greek, endured in the UK parliament into the C19 and are still used to identify Local Acts and probably Personal and Private ones but I shall have to check on that when I have time. I am also aware that nothing originated in India, or, to be more precise, that the earliest known representation of zero yet found was from an Indian inscription. However, it is a decade since I had to research that so there might have been developments. As things stand if anyone were to refer to “Indian numerals” that would have to be followed by an explanatory statement to identify the numerals as “Arabic”. That they look like neither their Arabic nor Indian progenitors is a further difficulty. Had I included this statement in my original submission very few readers would have reached the end.
    In short: yes, you are right and I did know that but no, it is not for PC reasons.

  • Pete Smith

    Muslims are quite capable of making THEMSELVES look foolish.

  • guerillasurgeon

    It is stupid. But it’s a boycott, and telling people how to or how not to spend their money is also stupid. If enough of them boycott the toilet paper, then the company will come to a commercial decision one way or the other. Consumer power. There’s not much left to is any more so let’s cherish what we have.

  • Eric Reid

    Everyone has the right to offend anyone else, whether it is warranted or not. You have the choice to take offence or not and simply brush it off as unsubstantiated nonsense. I will grant you your right to be offended if you, in turn, grant me my right to be monstrously entertained by your ignorance and belief that 1) Allah exists at all and 2) of all places in the world to protest the mistreatment of Muslims, you pick M&S… basically just a market. They have a leaf on their store-brand toilet paper, claiming to be made with aloe, which happens, coincidentally to show an embossed aloe leaf. But wait no! There is a conspiracy afoot to cause westerners to wipe their asses on the Arabic name for their god. I don’t speak a word of Arabic, but I can look it up on Google translate – الله – and see that either I’m going blind or you have absolutely no idea what the lines that make up the name of your god look like. And this one guy convinced THOUSANDS of people to boldly, publicly, proclaim offence at a short fibre, aloe infused, bum wipe and its makers. Damn, not only does it not say Allah, it barely looks like an aloe leaf. Sorry, M&S. =) Stop wasting our time.

  • Italian Scallion

    The muslims are offended by everything. Why? Because they’re stupid. I’d love to have three rolls of toilet paper in which ti wipe my but on. I’d enjoy cleaning my butt on the faces of Allah, Muhammad and Jesus.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Holy shit!

  • Michael Neville

    The reply given in Arkell v Pressdram would be appropriate.

  • Richard B

    I saw the Blessed Virgin on a flapjack. Saw Jesus and the twelve apostles on a loaf of French bread.

  • MindWarrior

    By adopting ancient and silly beliefs, all those religious are made to look foolish…

  • MindWarrior

    From western world hygiene to middle-eastern blasphemy…business as usual.

  • Angry_Commie_Pinko_Jew_Faggot

    Your faith isn’t really worth much if every-time you take the slightest offence, you totally lose your shit!

  • Philip Buczko

    Muslims use toilet paper! I thought they invented the term ‘kak handed’ for all lefties.