Gap launched the #MakeLove campaign for this holiday season; a campaign, using diverse models, focused on giving and spreading love, joy and hope.
However, one of its adverts published in a US subway station, picturing Sikh jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia and model, illustrator and film maker Quentin Jones, came under attack from vandals. They obviously do not appreciate the meaning behind it.
Vandals crossed out “love” and instead wrote “bombs” on the #MakeLove caption also writing underneath it “please stop driving taxis”!
Gap was unaware of this until Arsalan Iftikhar, the senior editor at Islamic Monthly and founder of the TheMuslimGuy.com, uploaded a picture of the vandalised advert to his Twitter and Facebook account. After seeing it, their response was quick asking to learn the exact location of the advert so that they could replace it and simultaneously, in order to show their support and solidarity, they put the specific advert as their official Twitter account’s background picture.
Gap’s action was applauded by Sikhs and muslims alike and they even started a “Thank you, Gap” campaign to show their appreciation.
Since the first vandalised advert has been made public, other vandalised images of the same advert have also been reported. This whole story shows as Iftikhar stated that “we do not live in a post-racist America yet and when South Asians and those perceived to be Muslims cannot even grace fashion advertisements without racial epithets being directed their ways”.
But not just America but the whole world has an issue when it comes to people originating from South Asia and the Middle East, even though many want to know nothing about it or have as little involvement as possible. Governments on the other hand have often failed to acknowledge this problem to its full extend and so far any attempts to prevent racism against these people were particularly unsuccessful.