A Muslim senior editor reportedly came across a vandalized subway ad for Gap, featuring Sikh actor and jewellery designer Waris Ahluwalia, and brought the designer company's attention to the racist messages scribbled on the ad, prompting a swift and incredible response from them.
Senior editor at The Islamic Monthly and founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, Arsalan Iftikhar, posted the picture of the ad on his Twitter and Facebook wall, in which the caption had been changed from 'Make Love' to 'Make Bombs', and the writer had also scrawled 'Please stop driving TAXIS' onto the poster.
PHOTO: On this GAP subway ad featuring a Sikh man...Vandals have written "Make Bombs" & "Please stop driving taxis" pic.twitter.com/yvw2vhfexW— Arsalan Iftikhar™ (@TheMuslimGuy) November 25, 2013
Iftikhar said that when he came across the picture, he wanted the world to see how millions of brown people are viewed in America today, Huffington Post reports.
Within a day of posting the picture, Gap tweeted back at Iftikhar, asking him to help them find the location of the ad and the company even extended their support by changing their account's Twitter background to the picture of Ahluwalia.
The report said that the company's prompt action and the show of solidarity was applauded by Sikhs and Muslims alike, as some members of the community started a 'Thank you, Gap' campaign to appreciate their action.
@TheMuslimGuy Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM us? We'd like to know the location of this.— Gap (@Gap) November 25, 2013
This advertisement is part of Gap's holiday '#MakeLove' campaign featuring a wide variety of diverse models.
Ahluwalia has landed on multiple best-dressed lists and is a regular in art and fashion circles.
Iftikhar said that the entire incidence proves that we do not live in a post-racial America yet when South Asians and those perceived to be Muslims cannot even grace fashion advertisements without racial epithets being directed their way, the report added.