A newly unveiled shoe collaboration between Kanye West and Adidas is being cancelled on Twitter for appropriating Islamic religion.
It can be hard to keep up with Kanye West. For the triple threat musician, designer, and politician, 2020 has been turbulent, to say the least. When not having a manic episode at a political rally, or teasing – then deleting – new music, Mr West is still grinding on that Yeezy side hustle.
But, said hustle has landed the Jesus Walks singer in some hot water overnight after the naming of his new Adidas x Yeezy collaboration was deemed “highly offensive” by the Muslim community.
It was revealed on Twitter last week that Adidas was dropping a new line of shoes in collaboration with Kanye West’s clothing apparel brand Yeezy. While initially met with keen anticipation, the new line saw the two new Yeezy boots becoming a point of contention online, with the Muslim community accusing West of cultural appropriation.
YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ISRAFIL. AVAILABLE AUGUST 22 IN ASIA PACIFIC, EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA AT https://t.co/SNOmpVaWg8, ON THE ADIDAS APP IN SELECT COUNTRIES, AND IN SELECT ADIDAS STORES. pic.twitter.com/TqUvKf2ion
— adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) August 17, 2020
The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Israfil and Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Asriel both take their names from the angels of Islam: Israfil the angel of music and Asriel the angel of death.
Israfil is one of four archangels, the highest-ranking angels in Islam. In the Islamic faith, he is usually illustrated with a horn, which he will blow on the day of judgement. Alternatively, Asriel is Islam’s angel of death, responsible for transporting the souls of the deceased to the afterlife.
The new line was met with blatant disapproval from Muslims who have taken to Twitter to criticise both Yeezy and Adidas for taking part in harmful cultural appropriation and “making a mockery of Islam.”
— Sult (@sultisamazing) August 20, 2020
— An (@AnwarM94) August 18, 2020
@kanyewest @theyeezymafia @adidas shame on you for using the name of Islam’s four archangels for a shoe name. That’s cultural appropriation and it is wrong and upsetting to our Muslim community. Change the shoe name. #culturalappropriation
— Sandra (@sanbrown76) August 23, 2020
Latest controversy#KanyeWest new shoe named ‘Israfil’
In #Islam, Israfil is known to be the angel that will blow a trumpet to mark the ultimate end of the world.
Naming a shoe after a significant Angel of God, in the Islamic religion, is highly disrespectful.@MuslimAdvocates pic.twitter.com/D2s8qhkGwe
— Azra_H (@azra_hhh) August 19, 2020
In response, a petition has been circulating online, calling for Adidas to alter the name of the shoes to something less offensive or simply drop the line altogether.
“This is highly offensive to the Muslim community,” the petition reads. “Having the names of angels, which we revere highly on a shoe which is used to walk on the street is a huge form of disrespect in all Muslims communities.”
It goes onto demand that “Adiddas (sic) cease all production of this shoe immediately, issue a sincere apology to the Muslim community.”
Around this time last year, Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian-West was forced to change the name of her shapewear line Kimono, after it was called out for being offensive to Japanese culture which regards the Kimono as a traditional national dress.