A PETITION has been launched to stop an international sports brand from producing a trainer which it is claimed blasphemously has the name Allah imprinted into its sole.

Burnley and Pendle Friends League launched the petition, which has been signed by thousands of people in a matter of days, to stop Nike from making and selling the Air Max trainer, which allegedly depicts the Arabic word for Allah.

The issue initially came to light in January but has since resurfaced when a Pendle man bought the shoes from a JD Sports store in Burnley.

At a friends league meeting, held during the celebration of Eid Ul Fitr at St Luke’s Parish Hall in St James Street, Brierfield, its members urged the government to order Nike to halt the production and sale of the trainer and want the company to apologise.

Mozaquir Ali, the group’s secretary, said Eid celebrations for many were spoiled for many Muslims in East Lancashire by the trainer depiction.

He said: “We are appalled and deeply hurt by this disgraceful action of Nike.

“They have yet again hurt not only Muslims in Lancashire, or millions in the UK, but billions around the world.

“We now demand from Nike a total stop of the production and the sale of these trainers immediately and Nike must also make a public apology for the hurt they have caused.”

The petition was handed to Andrew Stephenson, Pendle’s MP, at the meeting and it will be sent to Burnley’s MP, Julie Cooper, in the coming days.

Earlier this year a Change.org petition was started calling for Nike to remove its Air Max 270 trainers from sale after it was claimed its logo depicted the Arabic word for Allah.

Saghir Ahmed, chairman of Burnley and Pendle Friends League, said: “This is not the first time Nike has done this despite their assurances in the past that they will stop.

“It’s time for a total stop.

“We are seeking a public apology and a withdrawal of this product from sale.”

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Nike was contacted for comment.

In January, a Nike spokesman said any likeness to the word for Allah was accidental and the company respects all religions.

The spokesman said the markings were intended to reflect Air Max and any other perceived meaning or representation was wholly unintentional.