The rapper, who not too long ago was under fire for going on a series of confusing Twitter rants, is sparking controversy once again. Muslims around the world are unhappy with his new Yeezy line. (FYI: Yeezys are the trainers, or sneakers for you Americans, that made him a billionaire.)
A disrespectful choice
Kanye West's two new Yeezy Boost 350 V2's, which were made in collaboration with Adidas, were named Israfil and Asriel. The first model has been available since August 22, and the second is due to come out next month. But if the announcement of the release of these trainers on social networks provoked strong reactions, it's not because of their design.
Israfil is the name of the Archangel of the Last Judgment in Islam, who is supposed to announce the end of the world with his trumpet. Asriel is the archangel of death, who transports souls. The fact that he gave these names to two pairs of shoes aroused the anger of many Muslims, who believe it makes a mockery of, and is insulting to, Islam. Others say it's cultural appropriation and a distasteful attempt to attract Muslim consumers.
A petition has been launched to force the rapper and Adidas to change the name of the sneakers. This initiative also calls consumers to boycott the brand's other products "until Adidas ceases production of this merchandise." The petition currently has about 2,500 signatures.