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‘Islamophobic’ Lego toy angers Austrian Turks

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, January 25, 2013 16:13 EDT
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The lego logo is seen alongside lego pieces on March 17, 2001 in Caen, France. (AFP)
 
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Austria’s Turkish community has threatened to sue Lego because it thinks the firm’s “Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace” box set might teach children to associate Islam with violence and terrorism.

One of the buildings is a “one-to-one copy” of the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, while the figure with an axe and machine gun in the minaret-like structure could be a muezzin, the Turkish Cultural Community said.

The “terrorist” Jabba the Hut, the malevolent slug-like alien kingpin from the “Star Wars” movies, meanwhile “loves smoking a water pipe”, it said in a statement.

“It is obvious that the hideous villain Jabba the Hut’s figure and the entire backdrop encourage the depiction of Orientals and Asians as sneaky criminals,” it said.

The organisation said it was considering filing criminal complaints against Denmark’s Lego in Austria and Germany for alleged incitement to racial hatred. It is also mulling legal steps in Turkey.

A Lego spokeswoman, Katharina Sasse, told AFP that the buildings in the box set were faithful copies from “fantasy” structures in the “Star Wars” movies and that the firm was “very sorry” if offence was caused.

“We can guarantee that we definitely did not copy the mosque mentioned or any other building,” Sasse said. She added that Lego had no plans to withdraw the product before its scheduled phase-out at the end of 2013.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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