The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that the glass Cube Apple erected earlier this year on New York's tony Fifth Ave, dubbed Apple Mecca by many of the Mac faithful, is offensive to Muslims due to the Cube's resemblance to the Ka'bah (aka The House of Abraham). The report goes on to say that there's a genuine belief that the design of the store was specifically meant to provoke Muslims and cites other contributing insults such Apple housing "bars" that sell alcoholic beverages within the Cube structure and it being open 24/7.
I'm speechless. But, as you know, that rarely stops me from speaking anyway. I'm hesitant to get into this territory for obvious reasons and I truly mean no disrespect to anyone, but... you and I both know that the design of the 5th Ave store has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Muslims, Mecca, Abraham, the Kaabah or any religious icon, affiliation or idol whatsoever. It has everything to do with Steve Jobs' affinity (fetish?) for the design of the Power Mac G4 Cube (a fetish of mine also), as well as his pet NeXT Cube. We also know that the "bars" in question don't sell anything resembling alcohol.
It's unfortunate when anyone gets offended by wholly innocuous things that were never intended or designed to offend, and much more so in the current world climate, but seriously... there's no there there.
The MEMRI report is dated October 10, 2006, though it clearly was written before the 5th Ave Cube was completed, based on the references to stopping the project before it progressed. I'd like to think that now that the black panels have come down, the clear glass Cube that is NYC's flagship Apple Store is recognized to be nothing more than a den of iPodolatry, rather than Idolatry.
[via The Apple Core]
UPDATE: I have added a question mark to the title of this post in an effort to keep some of the commenters and, indeed, the community as a whole, from becoming more enraged than they may already be. I am also working on a follow-up post in response to the uproar, which I'll put up within the next few days. Some of you make some very valid points and I am anxious to address some of the concerns expressed here.
UPDATE: Follow-up post is here.