Sunday, March 07, 2010

Craziness Concerning Coca-Cola

There's a lot of silly myths a rumors floating about the Internets and the world in general.

Some of the strangest are those dealing with Coca-Cola. So much so that Coke on its website has a whole section devoted to knocking down these myths. Of course, there's the standard drinking Diet Coke and Mentos will kill you myth along with many others.

The very interesting myths on the site are those spun in the Muslim world, where the credulous fellahin apparently will believe anything.

Such wonders as:

Rumor: Anti-Muslim messages appear in graphics (No Mohammed, No Mecca)

Some people have been lead to believe that the Coca-Cola trademark can be translated to "No Mohammed, No Mecca" in Arabic when it is reversed and read from left to right.

Our Response: This claim is not true. The Coca-Cola trademark was created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, at a time and place where there was little knowledge of Arabic.

The allegation has been brought before a number of senior Muslim clerics in the Middle East who researched it in detail and refuted the rumor outright.

During the late 1990s, a special committee of authorities in Saudi Arabia, with representatives from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Trade, was formed to review the rumors against the Coca-Cola logo. The committee determined that there is no basis to these false allegations and that the Coca-Cola trademark does not connote anything defamatory to Islam.

More recently, in May 2000, the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar (the Islamic world's foremost institute) Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel, said that "the trademark does not injure Islam or Muslims directly or indirectly." Moreover, he stated that Islam is against "the propagation of empty rumors and intended lies that affect either public or private interests."

Rumor: The Coca-Cola Company is a Jewish company. (Variations of this rumor suggest that the Company is affiliated with the Mormon religion.)

Our Response: No. The Coca-Cola Company is not affiliated with any specific religion or ethnic group. We also do not support or oppose governments, political or religious causes. The Coca-Cola Company is a publicly listed company, with shareowners of different religions and ethnic groups all over the world. Anyone can buy Coca-Cola shares through their financial institution.

We believe the origins of this rumor date back to 1967, when the Arab League pronounced a boycott against companies for conducting business in Israel, following the tensions in the Middle East. The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners were present in many Arab and Muslim countries before Coca-Cola was introduced in Israel, and came back to the Arab countries as soon as the boycott was lifted.

Spreading such allegations is an attempt to exploit a delicate situation in the Middle East, and to falsely suggest that the Coca-Cola business takes sides

Pretty funny stuff. It must be the great Judaeo-Mormon plot to corrupt Islam and replace their precious bodily fluids with cola-flavored carbonated water, but only if you stand on your head while reading the label backwards.

Unfortunately, the Muslim world tends to believe a great many false rumors - some of them far more harmful and disturbing than those concerning Coca Cola.

Too bad they don't get some rational sense of disbelief, chill, and drink a nice cold Coke.


Tam said...

I grew up among folks who thought the Procter & Gamble logo was Satanic, and that rock musicians commanded their fans to kill themselves with secret backwards messages.

And we were well-to-do suburbanite Americans with computers and cable TV; we didn't have the excuse of being surly third world peasants. Checked the sales of the Left Behind series lately? We have plenty of our own fellahin.

Aaron said...

Ah, was that the famous Amway vs Procter & Gamble Battle royal?

I agree we've got quite the number of domestic nuts and credulous countrymen, but ours typically don't riot or blow stuff up based on a logo or riddiculous rumor.