A British online retailer has been busted for passing off Islamic prayer mats as home decor.
The retailer, Shein, was caught repackaging the religious staple as “frilled Greek carpets” for the home.
The Shein website offered two versions of the mat, one for £14.49 ($A26.20) and a smaller version for £8.49 ($15.30).
It soon caught the eye of journalism student Khadija Rizvi who posted images of the mats on social media and it since went viral.
Rizvi said in an accompanying post: “I am disgusted. I am livid. Shein is profiting off Muslim prayer mats (janemaz/sajadah) by selling them as ‘fringe trim carpets’ for people to use casually around the house.”
She added that some of the mats had the Ka’aba printed on them. The Ka’aba is a building at the centre of Islam’s most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.
“This is highly offensive, not only is it disrespectful but they once again renamed and stole credit from a whole faith this time, by failing to label it as a Muslim prayer mat which allows people to use it casually as a decorative mat,” Rizvi wrote.
According to reports, Shein was soon bombarded by angry shoppers demanding the mats be removed. Shein later apologised but doesn’t appear to have removed the mats from sale.
Posting on its Instagram, a spokesperson for Shein said: “We’re sorry. As a global brand, we vow to do a much better job in educating ourselves on different cultures, religions, and traditions to ensure our diverse community is respected and honoured.
“We offer our sincerest apology to all whom we have hurt and offended and hope we can earn your forgiveness.”
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