South Asian community praises Gap’s response to defaced poster

Published: November 27, 2013
Graffitti

Graffitti on a Gap ad with a turbaned Asian model in New York. Twitter

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

A Gap ad meant to draw from cultural icons and spread love during the holiday season has instead been defaced with racist slurs in a New York City subway station.

Gap Inc.’s latest ‘Make Love’ campaign features a number of multicultural figures dressed in Gap clothing, with one of the posters featuring turbaned Sikh, Waris Ahluwahlia, an American actor and fashion designer next to model and filmmaker Quentin Jones.

Founder of the MuslimGuy.com and senior editor of Islamic Monthly, Arsalan Iftikhar, told Vancouver Desi the defaced ad first caught his eye when a friend posted a picture of it on his Facebook newsfeed. The picture showed the subway station poster with the slogan ‘Make Love’ crossed out to read ‘Make Bombs’ with the words “Please stop driving taxis!” scrawled beneath it.

“As a civil rights lawyer and media commentator, I regularly talk about race, ethnic and identity issues in American politics and media,” Iftikhar said in an email to Vancouver Desi. “This one photograph was a perfect example of how racism is still alive and well in America today.”

Iftikhar posted the photo to his more than 35,000 Twitter followers on Sunday, because “it’s important for average people to know what’s going on in their neighborhoods (and subway stations) and speak out against injustice even when it has nothing to do directly with our own backgrounds,” he said.

Gap

Gap shows solidarity with Muslims and Sikhs by making the ad it’s main image on Twitter after graffitti incident.

Fortunately, The Gap responded to Iftikhar’s tweet the very next day, thanking him for passing on the information and asking for the exact location of the defaced ad.

The Gap further stood by their campaign and changed its Twitter background to the photo of Waris Ahluwahlia, which Iftikhar said was “the perfect response to all the haters out there.”

The clothing line’s ‘Make Love’ campaign has already received an outpouring of support from the Sikh community when it was initially launched last week. A Facebook page titled “GAP,

Thank you for featuring a Sikh model in your “Make Love” campaign,” was also created on Sunday.

A letter posted to its timeline states, “The Sikh community has struggled with making everyone aware about its faith, values and culture. Sadly, very few people recognize that articles of faith such as turbans and unshorn hair, are an integral part of the American way of life for Sikhs that live and work here. Since 9/11, Sikhs have been victims of numerous violent hate crimes.”

“The community has tremendously benefited from the attention it has received through Gap’s marketing campaign,” the letter added. “By placing a Sikh model in prominent locations on billboards, direct mail advertising and digital channels, you have raised the profile of Sikhs in ways the community couldn’t have accomplished with its limited resources.”

lcahute@vancouverdesi.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




Featured

The Canadian Flag flies over the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill on Feb. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa unveils new immigrant investor program

VANCOUVER DESI Ottawa is now accepting applications for its new immigrant investor program, which aims to provide up to 60 “high-net worth immigrants” a path…
Continue Reading »

kid

Devastating, monthlong heatwave in India has killed hundreds, as temperatures surge close to 50 C

Heatwave ◄ Back Next ► Picture 1 of 12 An Indian child cools off under a fountain at a water park in Hyderabad on May…
Continue Reading »

pioneers

Ossie Kaur Thandi’s family was just one of seven Indo-Canadian families living in New West in 1934

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Ossie Kaur was 16 years old when she left her childhood home in the Lower Mainland to travel alone to India….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

pioneers

Ossie Kaur Thandi’s family was just one of seven Indo-Canadian families living in New West in 1934

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Ossie Kaur was 16 years old when she left her childhood home in the Lower Mainland to travel alone to India….
Continue Reading »

A look at Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s first cabinet

THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — A look at Alberta’s NDP cabinet sworn in Sunday: Rachel Notley (Edmonton Strathcona) Premier, minister of intergovernmental affairs. Notley, 51,…
Continue Reading »

Japan-Canada trade talks stalled with no meetings in sight

By Mike Blanchfield THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Trade talks have stalled between Canada and Japan — one of the Harper government’s priority countries for…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

SALMAN KHAN

Is Salman Khan going to join Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables?

IANS Mumbai — Sylvester Stallone and Salman Khan seem to have a mutual admiration. The Hollywood star is all praise for the “super talented Indian…
Continue Reading »

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »