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Outrage Over Retailer's $2.50 Swastika Pendant

Consumers outraged by sale of casual prayer mats, swastika pendant
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2020 9:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – On Monday, budget fashion retailer Shein apologized for selling Muslim prayer mats as decorative carpets. On Thursday, it apologized for selling a "swastika pendant necklace" for $2.50. The advocacy group Stop Antisemitism called attention to the gold-colored necklace in a social media post. "It represents the mass murder of millions," it wrote, demanding the pendant's removal. But Shein, which removed the pendant within the hour, said this wasn't a Nazi swastika, which is pointed clockwise, per BuzzFeed. This symbol, pointed counter-clockwise, is "a Buddhist swastika," the company explained, "which has symbolized spirituality and good fortune for more than a thousand years." But it acknowledged it was easy to confuse the two, and as "one is highly offensive, we have removed the product from our site," a spokesperson said.

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The company, self-described as a "multicultural and global brand," also said it would form a product review committee made up of staffers from different cultures and religions "to ensure that we respect our diverse community." It said the same days earlier as it came under fire for selling Muslim prayer mats as "fringe trim carpets," some of which featured the Kaaba, the most sacred structure in Mecca. "It is NOT a carpet and must be treated with respect and you don't ever wear shoes on it," wrote activist Khadija Rizvi. "We understand this was a highly offensive oversight and are truly sorry," Shein responded, per People. It said it had removed the rugs and "asked our vendor to stop selling to others." Shein added that the product review committee would be formed "so a mistake like this doesn't happen again." (Read more swastikas stories.)

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