Apple’s “Mecca Project” Provokes Muslim Reaction

On October 10, 2006, an Islamic website posted a message alerting Muslims to what it claims is a new insult to Islam. According to the message, the cube-shaped building which is being constructed in New York City, on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets in midtown Manhattan, is clearly meant to provoke Muslims. The fact that the building resembles the Ka’ba (see picture below), is called “Apple Mecca,” is intended to be open 24 hours a day like the Ka’ba, and moreover, contains bars selling alcoholic beverages, constitutes a blatant insult to Islam. The message urges Muslims to spread this alert, in hope that “Muslims will be able to stop the project.”

Muslims offended by 5th Avenue Apple store

A Middle East research organization reports that Apple’s flagship retail store on 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan (between 58th and 59th) is offensive to Muslims. The report cites an Islamic Web site urging Muslims to spread the word in hope that “Muslims will be able to stop the project.”

The report by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a 501 (c)3 organization based in Washington, D.C., claims that Apple’s cube-shaped building (pictured above) “constitutes a blatant insult to Islam.”

The reason? Because the building resembles the Ka’ba in Mecca (pictured below), is called “Apple Mecca,” (by whom?), is open 24 hours a day like the Ka’ba, and “contains bars selling alcoholic beverages.”

Ka’ba means cube. It is the first place Allah was worshiped. From the outside it does not look very exciting. It is made of concrete blocks. Inside it is decorated with texts from the Qu’ran.

I was just at the Fifth Avenue Apple store in NYC and don’t remember them serving alcohol. The report appears to have misunderstood the intent of the “Genius Bar” and the “iPod bar.” The group which “explores the Middle East through the region’s media” only appears to have two valid facts in their complaint – that the Apple store is in the shape of a cube and that it’s open 24 hours a day.

I’m sorry, but no. Having a word for ‘cube’ in your language does not give you the right to declare all things ‘cubic’ offensive, let alone is it a valid excuse for one’s “I’m in the center of the world and clearly all things cubic are cubic just for the explicit purpose of offending me!” inferiority complex.

I like the last paragraph of the ZDNET blog post where it basically discredits the whole claim.

UPDATE: Malaclypse has a link that says the whole thing is a lie.

What really makes me angry is that under the guise of news about Apple (which we all love), a blatant flat-out lie was perpetuated. The reality of the matter was that it was a random post on a random website, without a single supporting name or organization to reflect the “muslim community’s outrage.” The MEMRI article did not even link to, nor identify, the Arabic news source it was supposed to be citing or translating!

Good news.

Good job guys, we’ve killed two posts in two (three?) days. However I should have closed this one earlier once Malaclypse shared that link, that was foolish of me to keep it open.

Dude, I say keep on topic, and give you some locations where you can talk about that topic if you like, then you come back to report how things are going?

Posted by Darin, filed under Racist Industrial Complex. Date: October 11, 2006, 5:09 am | 22 Comments »

22 Responses

  1. James Says:

    I heard that the ipod’s color screen is perfect for viewing cartoons of mohammed.

  2. tomato Says:

    Is the 21st century the “century of intolerance”?

    All these fundamentalisms and confrontations springing up everywhere and getting worse every time…

  3. MarkA Says:

    I heard that Pope Benedict XVI uses a Mac to download the cartoons to iTunes before synching with his iPod.

  4. YoshoMasaki Says:

    I like the last paragraph of the ZDNET blog post where it basically discredits the whole claim.

    As if the truth means anything to Muslims! All the more reason to kill some infidels, because they lied to Muslims to make them angry and offended.

  5. BananaBoi Says:

    I want to buy some vodka from the IPod Bar!

  6. Malaclypse Says:

    Muslim Community Responds: We Love the Apple NYC Cube

  7. polysics Says:

    damn koreans! ….

    …. oh wait, this doesnt have to do with those wacky koreans. can we get back on topic please? kthanksbye.

  8. Rose Says:

    I’m a bit relieved that this kind of illogical leaps would come from outside the K-zone.
    I thought the people in J-zone are the only unlucky ones on this planet who have to deal with this kind of nonsense on a daily basis.

  9. polysics Says:

    what do you have against korea? racist….

  10. Darin Says:


    Thanks! Great Link. Putting that in the post up above.

  11. Errol Says:

    Lankov agrees with me on October 11.

    He predicted that the “Chinese solution,” which could include installation of a pro-Chinese puppet regime in Pyongyang, might be welcome by the North Korean elite, who are well aware of its own embattled situation.

    Errol Said:

    October 9, 2006 at 12:50 am

    China will place a puppet on the throne in North Korea. Without Chinese money North Korea cannot survive.

  12. tomato Says:

    I see trolling activities…

  13. Darin Says:

    tomato: Indeed

    Errol, do stay on topic. Perhaps you meant to post in a different thread?

  14. Errol Says:

    The comments section on that thread isn’t working.

  15. smackout Says:

    The South koreans must be behind this, look hard at the picture there must be one there lol

  16. tomato Says:


    I think the S Koreans are paranoid about the Chinese history distortion thing (I don’t think the Chinese are distorting it at all…rather the S Koreans are distorting history to link their heritage to powerful historical Tungustic kingdoms)…but this is way off the subject and maybe some other time for discussion.

  17. Darin Says:

    tomato, why would you respond to someone you call out as off topic, all that could be accomplished is to pull the topic away from what is at hand and get it going into a flame war, and then we have two closed topics in two days.

    There will be a time for discussion on Occidentalism within the next few days as I have information I want to add about China’s movements in Koguryo, but until then you can always talk about the issue at The Marmot’s Hole if you’d like. Another great place for talking all things China is The Peking Duck and the Peking Duckpond forums.

    I feel as though I’m turning into the thought police from 1984 as a result of the past few days, and I don’t like it one bit. Guys and Gals, let’s just stay on topic, and have a good time okay? :(

  18. Errol Says:

    Darin, how about a special thread for suggesting thread topics? eg Today’s big news in the Islamic world is General Sir Richard Dannat’s call for British troops to exit Iraq pronto.

    From the BBC

    I look forward to you starting a thread on historical revisionism and Koguryo.

    The world is progressing, the future is bright and no one can change this general trend of history. We should carry on constant propaganda among the people on the facts of world progress and the bright future ahead so that they will build their confidence in victory.

    “On the Chungking Negotiations” (October 17, 1945), Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. IV. p. 59.

  19. Darin Says:

    It’s an idea, but I worry about it working because people wouldn’t be able to refrain from saying their thoughts about the suggested topics until a thread is started and the comments section of that post would become a complete mess. Perhaps a list of posts that are being considered to let the readers know what is on the minds of the posters so they know to hold their tongues for the moment would be a good idea, but I’m really just a guest poster, Matt’s the one in charge.

  20. Errol Says:

    The old email Matt trick.

    No worries. I can see your point about people wanting to jump the subway queue. After all as Chairman Mao said,
    … We should carry on constant propaganda …

  21. MarkA Says:

    Looks like people are confused on how to relate this to Korea. How about this SAT flashback:

    All Muslims bitch and moan about trifles.
    All Koreans bitch and moan about trifles.

    Muslims are Korean ___________.

    a) All of the time.
    b) None of the time.
    c) If they reside on Dokdo.
    d) If the Mohammed cartoon is a hentai manga.

  22. Errol Says:

    That Marmot site has exceeded its CPU quota. So no dice reading or contributing to historical revisionism and Koguryo over there.

    The first condition which has to be fulfilled in propaganda is a systematically one-sided attitude. Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively; it must present only that aspect of the [event] which is favorable to one’s own side.
    ~Adolf Hitler somewhere in Mein Kampf