A collection of the Italian designer Roberto Cavalli has angered devout followers of Sufism across the whole world. Because the logo of the line looks similar to a sacred Islamic emblem, they have launched protests in many cities. There has been a demonstration in Düsseldorf.
The photos, which can be seen on Twitter, show a demonstration on the Schadowplatz in Düsseldorf city centre. Dozens of people have gathered there to protest the Italian designer Roberto Cavalli . “Our logo, our right” and “Stop using our emblem” is written on their banners.
The protesters are followers of Sufism, an ascetic and spiritual tradition of Islam. They are upset because the Cavalli “holy logo” is used in a “provocative manner” and “for items like bikinis, sunglasses, jewelry and clothing,” as it says on the website of “Sufi rights”.
In other cities, such as London or New York City, there have been protests outside stores in which products of the collection are offered. In addition, in the US capital of Washington, protests are planned on Saturday. On June 25 Sufis plan to take to the streets in Paris and Milan.
Plagiarism of an Islamic motif
Sufism students launched the media campaign against Roberto Cavalli world over two weeks ago under the Twitter hashtag #TakeOffJustLogo. The faithful protest against the alleged abuse of an emblem important to them, on Twitter and Facebook. The logo under which the line of “just Cavalli” products are advertised looks [somewhat] like their sacred emblem, so this constitutes plagiarism of an Islamic subject. Thus the designer should withdraw it immediately.
The logo of the collection, especially for leisure clothing and jeans, consists of two sickles which are connected in the middle. The PR team of the designer denies media reports that it was a copy of the Sufi symbol, and instead announced that the figure should represent a stylized Serpent Sting.
The “sacred emblem”, however, as the Sufis refer to it, is composed from writing the word “Allah” twice. According to the Abjad, the alphabetical numbering system of the Arabs, the number 66 is equivalent to the word “Allah”. Sixty-six times two gives 132 – this number sequence in turn gives the word “Heart.”
Sufis, also called the Mystic of Islam, try to get closed to Allah through asceticism and meditation, often also by entering a trance-like state.