It takes so little to upset the rampaging Muslims -- a cartoon, a comment, a ... cube?
Radical Muslims have conjured up one more reason to rage against America - the Fifth Avenue Apple Store.
A message posted Tuesday on the extremist Al-Hesbah Web site ripped Apple for erecting a glass cube - "clearly meant to provoke Muslims" - outside its new outlet on the corner of West 58th Street.
The posting - translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute - called the cube "a blatant insult to Muslims" for its supposed likeness to the Kaaba, a cubic masonry structure situated in the center of the world's most sacred mosque in Mecca.
The author expressed "hope that Muslims will be able to stop the project," according to the English translation posted at Memri.org.
But the Islamist loonies must have relied on old intel. Apple opened its underground retail store a full five months ago.
And that wasn't the only blunder the crazies made.
Pictures on the site comparing a black-covered Apple cube with the black-enshrouded Kaaba were taken when the cube was still under construction.
Al-Hesbah went on to attack Apple for naming the store "Apple Mecca" and installing "bars selling alcoholic beverages," according to Memri.
The store is actually called Apple Store Fifth Avenue. And it does house a bar, but it's an iPod bar - for downloading music, not downing bevvies.
Customers enter the underground outlet through a 30-foot-high glass cube directly in front of the General Motors Building.
Yigal Carmon, head of Memri.org, said that Al-Hesbah is one of the "five major Islamist Web sites in the world." It often carries videos of al Qaeda heavies such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
"These are extremist groups," said Carmon, "but they are serious. It is not a marginal site."
The Memri translation elicited instant outrage in the blogosphere.
"You Muslim a- - - - - -s did not invent the cube nor do you maintain an exclusive monopoly on its use," said one blog posting.
Those standing outside the store yesterday tended to agree.
"I don't think they look similar at all," said Kiran Dhaliwal, 26, looking at the giant Apple logo encased inside cube. "I think they're overblowing it a little."
Representatives at Apple tried to downplay the controversy.
"We regret that the comments of these independent bloggers have offended anyone," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling. "The entrance is not an attempt to resemble the Kaaba."
* The Dalai Lama said after meeting Pope Benedict XVI yesterday that "a few mischievous Muslims" should not be allowed to give the Islamic faith a bad name. source
I make every effort to be fair and balanced, so please read this article, "Muslim Community Responds: We Love the Apple NYC Cube" at Apple Gazette which tells the other side of the story. A nice post and nice site, go read it.
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