Posts Tagged ‘Islamophobes’

Scenes from a Mall: US Brands Promoting Ramadan

August 17th, 2011 14 comments

When I was in Seattle during the first week of Ramadan, I heard about Whole Foods’ Ramadan Promotion. Whole Foods would be the first major American supermarket to have a Ramadan campaign. I thought: Awesome!

This promotion quickly turned controversial. A small but vocal group of Islamophobe bloggers claimed that promoting Ramadan meant supporting terrorism and jihadism, and was “anti-Israel.”

Regardless of how ignorant and idiotic these claims were, some regions of Whole Foods pulled back from their promotion. At least one region of the company wanted to dissassociate from Ramadan. One company executive clarified that they would not be “celebrating or promoting Ramadan” in their stores.


Whole Foods tried to correct the inconsistencies, pointing out it was simply an online campaign with no in-store signage promoting Ramadan–even though they have signage for Christmas, Passover and Easter.

Meanwhile, back in Dubai, I was admiring the beautiful Ramadan decorations in the mall, and it occurred to me how many US brands do indeed “promote” Ramadan—outside of the US, that is.

There are countless American companies in Dubai who have special packaging or products for Ramadan or beautiful window decorations or simply signage wishing customers “Ramadan Kareem.” In fact, there are too many US brands to list here.

Instead, I offer you a visual sample of US brands promoting Ramadan. Photos taken at Dubai Mall & Mall of the Emirates.

First up, Banana Republic.



Crate & Barrel has some lovely Ramadan signage.

The Gap has a particularly colorful display. 

Starbucks serves coffee in a special cup during Ramadan.

 Forever 21 offers chic Ramadan signage AND gives a charity donation for every purchase.

The Hallmark store sells Ramadan cards. 

 Clinque has some clever Ramadan signage. That’s lipstick in the cresent moon.

 Bath & Body Works has some pretty Ramadan signage and decoration.

Finally, saving the best for last: Bloomingdale’s at Dubai Mall is my favorite US Brand for promoting Ramadan in a creative way. Their window displays are super-chic and intricately arranged with layers of Arabian-themed items–more stunning than captured in my snapshots.



Question: What your thoughts on Whole Foods’ Ramadan Promotion? Or on other US Brands promoting Ramadan?