American rapper Kanye West, who established his footwear line in 2009, is being accused of disrespecting Islam by naming two of the latest editions to his Yeezy Boost trainers after the religion’s archangels.
Adidas revealed the new shoes Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Israfil and Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Asriel last week, who share the names of the Islamic angel responsible for blowing a trumpet to announce the arrival of the Day of Judgement and the angel of death respectively.
Many have taken to Twitter to criticise the ‘Jesus Walks’ rapper and Adidas for culturally appropriating Islam, in addition to the petition that has been launched to boycott the line and change the name of the shoes.
— Tariqul Islam Jewel (@TariqulJewel) August 22, 2020
I'm not really sure what to make of this? @adidas has released the name of their new trainers Yeezy Boost 'Israfil'. The name of the angel in Islam who will blow the trumpet to mark the end of the world and the beginning of the day of Judgement. pic.twitter.com/Rv5kU1WVvE
— muslim daily ❁ (@BirdsOfJannah) August 18, 2020
“Naming a shoe after a significant Angel of God, in the Islamic religion, is highly disrespectful,” one Twitter user wrote, warning religious figures should be left out of shoe designs.
“Dear @Adidas I am gonna STOP buying and using your products if those Kanye West’s newest shoes’ names aren’t changed because IT DOES NOT RESPECT Islam,” another said.
Another critic accused West and Adidas of “making a mockery of Islam” following the unveiling of the designs as an “obvious marketing ploy” to garner maximum publicity.
As part of an obvious marketing ploy, Kanye West decided to "make a mockery" of Islam, by naming a pair of his Yeezy sneakers after two Islamic angels.#KanyeWest #Israfil #adidas#Islamophobiahttps://t.co/mjdKWMGZmc pic.twitter.com/wfmVUubh9i
— Robert Carter (@Bob_cart124) August 25, 2020
The controversial new line of trainers comes amid the 43-year-old rapper’s run for the White House. He plans to challenge current US leader Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden for America’s top office in November.
West was recently booted from the ballot in five states: Illinois, Montana, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
I have been a big fan of @adidasUK in last 4 years. It is an absolute disgrace, and mockery against Muslims as they have named new YEEZY shoes "Israfil", an angel's name is Islam. @adidas you must change it and apologize#adidas #KanyeWest #yeezyisrafil pic.twitter.com/usEgNKUiw9
— Javohir Murod (@javohir_murod) August 20, 2020
Please change the name and stop disrespecting our religion! Stop using us for your business needs!
— madina ⎊ | rewatching aos🥃✨ (@MaryXDianaArt1) August 24, 2020
Despite the names of the Yeezy Boost shoes having sparked an outcry from some, the Israfil shoes have sold out and the Asriel model is set to be released next month.
The petition for the brand to change the name of the shoes states: “It has come to the attention of the Global Muslim community that Adidas has allowed the production of a shoe that is named after an archangel in Islam.”
“Until further notice, we request all Muslims to boycott adidas products, cease all sale of adidas products by any Muslim owned 3rd party retail shops until adidas ceases the production of this commodity.”
West and Adidas have not responded to the controversy.