Muslim-Themed Products Mimic Icons in American Popular Culture

October 9, 2006

Author: Catherine Donaldson-Evans

Source: Fox News,2933,219864,00.html

For Muslims wanting their fast food, soda and dolls infused with a little Islamic flair, Beurger King Muslim, Mecca-Cola and Fulla might be just the ticket.

American pop culture icons such as Burger King, Coca-Cola and Barbie dolls have traditionally done well around the world, including in predominantly Muslim countries. But in recent years, entrepreneurs in Syria, Saudi Arabia, France and other nations with sizable Muslim populations have created their own comparable products, which closely resemble the originals but have an Islamic twist — making them more appealing and marketable to Muslims.

"If you adapt products, as all cultures do, to the local conditions, with a slight change of name and slight difference in the way they appear, then these products sell," said Akbar Ahmed, the chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.

And with the worldwide Muslim population hovering around the 1.4 billion mark, selling merchandise directly to that demographic is a savvy move.

"It's a potentially lucrative market," said Ahmed.