Starbucks would be introducing a green cup to promote Islam; the news had been circulating all across the web for few days. For some, it was a sign of religious peace and harmony by the global coffee chain and for others, it became a bizarre representation of something ambiguous.
After the much humdrum, Starbucks officially unveiled the new cup on Tuesday, which goes by the title of “a symbol of unity” at a time of great division. It appointed artist Shogo Ota to produce the design to validate ‘humanity and connection’.
Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, said: “The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”
But, contrary to what Starbucks may have expected, the religious association in an uncanny manner sparked a public debate and outrage among the population, including the former Ukip leadership candidate Raheem Kassam.
Last year I joked that next year would see the Starbucks cups adopt a green (colour of Islam) theme. At least I thought I was joking… https://t.co/eyerjyrDB7
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) November 1, 2016
Some hit the Kassam for his tweet, while others took the design as a depiction of the colours of flag of the Arab league. Some thought that the cup was made with the coalition of Islamic State, while the others thought that the reason was political brainwashing.
One is the Starbucks “holiday” “unity” cup. The other is the official flag of the Arab League. Can u tell the difference? pic.twitter.com/BOhwRDOwdW
— Biff Diddle (@BiffDiddle) November 1, 2016
— #GoCubsGo (@RadioAnna) November 1, 2016
Well, it is not for the first time that Starbucks has come under the tide of political indoctrination for the colour, strategy or the ideology behind the cups. It also took the wind when Christian preachers thought that the coffee giant was declaring a “war on Christmas” by using a shade of red on the festive packaging, previous year.