Friday, 07. March 2014
23. 01. 13. - 16:00
Turks living in Austria are calling for a boycott of Lego products after accusing it of encouraging racial hatred and prejudice.
They are furious about the Lego Jabba the Hut set which they say is modelled on a holy Muslim temple and it is sacrilege to include a machine gun inside or to populate it with criminals. On its webpage the organisation asks in German "what a Lego recommending parents buy as a Christmas gift – the answer is pure racism."
The official complaint came after a father contacted the Turkish Cultural Community in Austria after spotting the Lego Star Wars range in a toy shop at Christmas.
And after investigating Dr. Melissa Günes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, confirmed that Lego had been contacted with an official complaint and that the toy store had been forced to swap the offending building blocks that the organisation claimed in fact insulted Muslims because they were in reality copies of a mosque and a minaret.
On the community's website outraged Muslims have slammed the toy producer for being totally insensitive toward religion and for contextual errors in the toy aimed at indoctrinating children against Muslims.
The allegations include the fact that a watchtower and model of Jabba the Hut's palace are in fact exact replicas of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the mosque Jami al-Kabir in Beirut - and of a minaret.
The organisation adds that Jabba’s palace in Star Wars is populated by (pseudo-Buddhist) monks, the terrorist Jabba the Hut loves to smoke water pipes and have his victims executed, and concludes that: "It is apparent that, for the figure of the repulsive bad guy Jabba and the whole scenery, racial prejudices and hidden suggestions against Orientals and Asians were used as deceitful and criminal personalities (slaveholders, leaders of criminal organizations, terrorists, criminals, murderers, human sacrifice).
They also complain about the "Shocking red and black devil’s scowl at the top of the box packaging on the right, which is at least an obvious signal that the toy should not lie under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve" - a reference to a picture of the Star Wars Sith Darth Maul, the disciple of Sith Lord Dark Sidous.
It also continues that the "rockets, cannons, weapons like laser pistols, guns and Samurai swords (serve as feet of the B’omarr monk) and trap doors in the LEGO fortress buildings are pedagogically questionable. The combination of temple building and bunker facilities where shots are fired cannot be appropriate for children between 9 and 14 years old, most of all with respect to a peaceful cohabitation of differing cultures in Europe."
And it concludes:"One would expect more empathy and responsibility from a manufacturer of toys that has produced toys and models that are good for teaching for decades."
They also say that they are planning legal action in Austria, Germany and Turkey against the toy firm if they do not get a satisfactory action and the toys in question are not withdrawn.
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