Kanye West has drawn the ire of the Muslim community and, surprisingly, it has nothing to do with his politics. The issue involves two new versions of his Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 that are named after Islamic angels. One color variant released last week was called "Israfil" (the angel of music) while an upcoming release is named "Asriel" (the angel of death, typically spelled "Azreal").
It's a pretty clear cut case of cultural appropriation, and many Twitter users have taken to the platform urging Adidas and West to change the names. Israfil is especially important to Muslims, as he's the angel who will blow the trumpet to signal the Day of Judgment.
Users have called the move by West and Adidas "disrespectful" and "humiliating." Another user wrote: "Our religion is not an aesthetic. Imagine how tired we are."
There are multiple petitions — At least two petitions on Change.org are calling for a name change. One has garnered more than 1,500 signatures while another has just over 500. The former also calls for Muslims to boycott Adidas until a change is made.
"This is highly offensive to the Muslim community," the petition reads. "Having the names of angels, which we revere highly on a shoe which is used to walk on the street is a huge form of disrespect in all Muslims (sic) communities. We demand that Adiddas (sic) cease all production of this shoe immediately, issue a sincere apology to the Muslim community and consult with a representative of the Muslim community to bridge this learning curve so this doesn’t happen again in the future. We are a big demographic of sales and to turn a blind eye to the insensitivity of our pain is a poor business decision."
Not the family's first brush with cultural appropriation — The Kardashians have been repeatedly called out for appropriating black culture, and Kim also got into hot water last year when she planned to name her new activewear line "Kimono." That plan was scrapped after the ensuing backlash —which included an open letter from the mayor of Kyoto, Japan — and Kardashian renamed the brand "Skims."
"You would think we would have obviously thought it through a little bit deeper," Kardashian said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. I’m the first person to say, OK, of course, I can’t believe we didn’t think of this. I obviously had really innocent intentions. But, let’s listen. And I want to really listen."
Hopefully, she'll be able to get her husband to listen as well. But considering how unhinged he's been this year, it's Adidas that's more likely to cater to public pressure.