Lego accused of racism by Turkish community who say toy is offensive because it is ‘based on a mosque’

by
January 24, 2013

Lego
Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community over a Star Wars toy allegedly depicting a mosque.

The critics claim that the Jabba’s Palace model, part of Lego’s Star Wars range, offends Muslims as it resembles the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul – one of the world’s most renowned mosques.

Members of the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria group also accused the toy manufacturer of depicting Asians as having ‘deceitful and criminal personalities’.

The group has released a statement calling for an apology from Lego for its cultural insensitivity.

The Lego set is based on the home of Jabba the Hutt, a central character in the Star Wars series, who lives in a domed palace, with a separated watchtower.

As well as bearing a likeness to the Hagia Sophia mosque, the Turkish group also claimed the toy takes its design from the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut – while the watchtower is said to resemble a minaret.

A post on the community’s website contains a picture of the slug-like creature’s Lego home, pointing out similarities with the Istanbul mosque.

Outraged Muslims have criticised the toy producer on the community’s website, accusing it of deliberately placing contextual errors in the toy.

The case came to light when a Turkish man expressed his dissatisfaction with the toy after it was purchased for his son by a family member.

After investigating, Dr Melissa Günes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, said that Lego had been contacted with an official complaint.

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