Allah forbid a major big box retailer send holiday wishes to members of one of the world’s largest religions. But that’s what Best Buy did, including a small message wishing Muslims a “Happy Eid al-Adha” in a circular. And now the Twin Cities-based retailer is facing a boycott by commenters at the rightwing Free Republic forum.
Best Buy, as we reporter earlier, was the target of a rightwing “War on Christmas” campaign in 2006 for not using the word “Christmas” in its holiday marketing, but this year, it’s been upgraded on the American Family Association’s list from anti-Christmas to merely “marginalizing” the Christian holiday.
Now Wonkette reports that Freepers are incensed that the company would give a holiday shout-out to members of the globe’s second-largest religion. Freepers are jamming Best Buy’s customer forums expressing their displeasure (although some commenters are thanking the company for the move). One commenter calls it “sickening” and a “really bad marketing decision” (really? There are around 1.5 billion Muslims world-wide).
Back at the Free Republic board, comments are, unsurprisingly, more pointed.
Commenter “wally_bert” writes: “BB is a Mpls company. Mpls is overrun with ragheads.”
Commenter UB355 writes:
WTH?? This PC crap is KILLING THIS COUNTRY. ENOUGH ALREADY!!
How bout Happy SATAN DAY. BUNCH A FRICKEN MORONS.
Still others think Best Buy should give equal time and have a “Merry Christmas” message. Eid al-Adha actually happens this month – from Nov. 27 to 30 – not next month and, remembering Abraham’s sacrifice of his son, it obligates Muslims to follow the “pillars of Islam,” one of which is charity, by donating to those in need.
UPDATE:Best Buy stands by ‘Happy Eid’ ad, will include ‘Christmas’ in new ads
Twin Cities–based Best Buy has responded to criticisms over an ad circular that wishes Muslims a happy Eid Al-Adha — by standing firm. “Best Buy’s customers and employees around the world represent a variety of faiths and denominations,” said Best Buy rep Lisa Svac Hawks. “We respect that diversity and choose to greet our customers and employees in ways that reflect their traditions.”
Further, deflating a criticism repeatedly leveled by conservative activists, she said shoppers will see the word “Christmas” in holiday marketing: “Christmas will be included in our insert and online. We have ‘Merry Christmas’ on our gift cards, too. In addition. we have developed the Christmas Morning simulator as an online interactive game.” (That message doesn’t seem to be getting through: Many news outlets, including a Denver Fox affiliate, cover the story with rhetoric like, “‘Merry Christmas’ is off-limits, but ‘Happy Eid al-Adha’ is apparently okay.“)
In another publication, Hawks said that, in addition to Eid wishes, “you will see greetings of Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Feliz Navidad in various Best Buy communications during the holiday season.”
That might rile conservatives, too. Already, the American Family Association has lashed out at the Gap for giving equal billing to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Solstice in a new TV commercial — although that group’s main concern is the inclusion of Solstice.
Imad Hamad, the regional Midwest director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, sees the greeting as a “welcome gesture from Best Buy,” adding that many of the complaints against it illustrate the kind of “anti-Islamic virus we’ve been hearing and dealing with.”
Likewise, Ahmed Rehab, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says it’s the first time he recalls an American retailer mentioning Eid in ads: “It makes perfect business sense to acknowledge and celebrate a holiday that one out of four people celebrate.”