Unverified reports suggests that the Islamic State has banned Nike apparel because the brand’s name sounds like the term for sexual intercourse in Arabic. Militants have reportedly been ordered to get rid of smutty-sounding sportswear.
The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) headquarters in Raqqa
issued what claims to be a leaflet warning jihadists against
using any Nike products. The punishments for both seller and
buyer of Nike goods range from a small fine to imprisonment or
— Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi (@raqqa_mcr) April
This fashion twist comes out while one of IS’ probably best-known
commanders Abu Waheeb is known for having a vast wardrobe of
Western sportswear, Nike items included, as well as Adidas etc.
Yet what might be permissible for a field commander to wear would
remain taboo for an ordinary citizen under the jihadists’ rule,
according to Daily Mail.
Jeans have also been strictly banned in the IS as the clothing
“provokes sexual desire, and shows the attractions of a man’s
body,” with a prison term promised for those violating the
The ‘Nike controversy’ began with one militant comparing the
company’s logo and name with the wearing of a Christian cross.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) April
The argument from other jihadists was that Nike’s apparel is
“comfy and good quality, unlike crosses,” the Daily Mail
Activist group ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently’, which
translated the leaflet into English, made a guess that Nike was
banned because the company was named after the Greek winged
goddess of victory, Nike, and also because it sounds similar to
‘sex’ in Arabic.
— brandmaster dheez (@dheezus) April
The leaflet also bans the wearing of clothes bearing inscriptions
of swearing or any kind of sexually-suggestive phrases.
To help those who can’t read in English, the leaflet contains a
long and detailed list of banned inscriptions in English and
their Arabic translations.