By Ken Krayeske • Hartford, CT • 3:45 PM EST
W ow. The sprinter, Ruqaya Al Ghasara, claimed that wearing a hijab - the traditional Islamic head scarf - made her fastest.
Nike might claim that its swoosh on the head gave her the additional speed boost. The immediate juxtaposition of religious symbolism and commercialism jarred me, and it begs the question of what is the winning philosophy here.
Controversy has arisen over putting brand names on religious gear like hijabs, where high fashion designers are trying to profit by selling up-scale hijabs to wealthy women. Ikea has teamed up with a hijab manufacturer to create a uniform hijab for Muslim Ikea employees.
While I can't see the Pope selling ad space on his mitre, but Christianity has succumbed to marketing mania, like when Pepsi sponsored Pope John Paul II's 1999 to Mexico.
The influence of brand imaging has altered our very landscape, where emotionally manipulative messages designed to brainwash that we are incomplete without purchasing. It has become the religion of the day, where magazines like Adbusters seek to alter those cultural memes.
One might hope that the Islamic world is immune to those influences, but having seen a Nike swoosh painted on the front of a bus in Morocco and this knock-off Nike "Like" t-shirt at the Syria-Iraq border, evidence abounds humans everywhere are susceptible to such happy horseshit.