So Father Z had an interesting seeded article regarding the Saudi Arabian hub of McDonald's. Apparently a Power Rangers toy was stamped with what can be seen as the name of Muhammad. Muslims in Saudi Arabia got a bit miffed considering the name of Muhammad is sacred to them. Seing it stamped on the bottom of a toy that features a ninja spinning around stomping on it understandably gets them a little riled up.
A lot of people on Father's thread were asking if the squiggle could really be the name of Muhammad. I was curious, myself, so I did a quick Google image search for his name. I found a couple different variations, but only one was similar to the image at the bottom of the Happy Meal toy. It wasn't the name of Muhammad, either. The closest thing I could find was the name of "Allah" written in Thuluth, a calligraphy font that happens to be used on the Saudi Arabian flag.
Soooooo, after comparing these items, it becomes clear that the little squiggle is definitely NOT the Power Ranger's lightning bolt (which some folks have put forth as explanation). I don't think it's the name of Muhammad, either. However, a case could definitely be made for the image to be a slanted version of the calligraphy for "Allah." Considering the font is so specific (being on the national flag and all), I can't help but wonder if that wasn't done on purpose.
I'm no expert, obviously, but from what I've been able to find, I'm confused there's an uproar specifically regarding the name of Muhammad and not the name of Allah. Then again, if the name of Muhammad is sacred, the name of Allah would be doubly so. In lieu of printing God's name repeatedly on news sites to rally opposition to the toy, maybe they chose to focus on Muhammad instead because it'd be an easier pill to swallow than allowing the name of God to be dragged through the mud.
I dunno - conjecture on my part, but I'm really confused on that.
All this being said, I can understand why Muslims would be a little testy over it. If something that Catholics found sacred was being stomped on my a toy ninja, I'd probably be a little peeved, myself.
Ah well. I'm curious to know who was responsible for the design.
***Update 5.31.12*** Corrected Information!!!
Two people (one from WDTPRS and one from an Islamic forum I contacted) were able to shed a little light on this for me. If either of them ever find their way back here, please know how much I appreciate that! :)
The calligraphy that I have listed as "Allah" isn't actually "Allah." The gentlemen who explained it to me through the forum said that sometimes it's easy for people to misunderstand that because the name of Allah is always so closely linked to that of Muhammad. Arabic calligraphy "builds" on itself, much in the same way Japanese characters do. A simple calligraphy picture could contain an entire story to the keen eyes of one who understands the language.
I find that incredibly wonderful! :)
However, that means I was wrong about the calligraphy for Allah. The woman on WDTPRS says that the squiggle can be understood as Muhammad's name (and the gentlemen affirmed this), so the current rallying makes sense again to me. Also, I was right on the Thuluth font as well, so that's something, right? Ha ha ha!
I wanted to be sure to update this page with that information as I don't want anyone running around with improper background because of me!
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