AN “ILL-THOUGHT-OUT” joke sparked outcry on social media.
Nordic Coffee Collective posted a picture of its sandwich board featuring a pun on the word “Ramadan”.
The Brighton cafe landed in hot water with some social media users who branded the joke “insensitive”, “offensive”, in “bad taste”, “bigoted” and “not cool”.
The inflammatory pun read: “Two Muslims have crashed into the Thames Barrier in London. Police think it might be the start of Ram-a-dam.”
The coffee shop, which is known for posting jokes and off-beat humour on its sandwich boards, promptly removed the message and posted an apology.
Representatives of the cafe said: “We are not in the business to offend anyone so we have removed it. We are very sorry if anyone took offence, it was just a pun on the word Ramadan.”
They added that they “really do not want to upset anyone”.
Some users did not consider the post offensive.
One tweeted: “I honestly do not see the problem with making a pun of the name of a religious holiday.” Another posted: “That is funny.”
A third user said: “We used to be able to laugh at ourselves and other cultures.
“It does not have to be viewed as racist or bigoted, but typical of the current age where everything is considered wrong and offence taken continually by all. What a shame.”
Tariq Jung, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Muslim Forum, said that while he did not consider the post “Islamaphobic” he did consider it “ill thought”.
He said: “I think if they understood the importance of Ramadan to Muslims they may well not have done this. I think it was ill-thought-out and I think people sometimes do things because they do not understand the connotations and they consider it trivial.
“Free speech is welcome but there is a limit to what you can say or do to hurt people.
“Muslims may well be very upset and I congratulate the cafe for removing it – this is wise and just. It was just a genuine mistake – not an Islamaphobic statement.”