(Time.Com) By Matt Peckham
Racism is sadly alive and well in the world, but in a LEGO Star Wars toy set?
Have a look at the picture above: That’s LEGO’s rendition of “Jabba’s Palace,” as in Jabba the Hutt, the giant alien slug-creature that hassled Han Solo and his pals over a snarling sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. According to the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria, it’s also a racially prejudiced riff on at least two revered religious structures, reports The Telegraph.
TCCA apparently believes the toy set resembles the Hagia Sophia, originally a structure in Istanbul that began life as an Orthodox basilica in 360, became a mosque in 1453 and was eventually converted to a museum in 1935; TCCA further alleges it resembles the 7th century Jami’ al-Kabir mosque in Beirut. What’s more, writes TCCA according to a Google Translate version of the page (originally in German):
It is clear that the figure of the ugly villain Jabba and the whole scene [exemplifies] racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against … Orientals and Asians as sneaky and criminal personalities (slaveholders, leaders of criminal organizations, terrorists, criminals, murderers, human sacrifice)…
A picture posted on TCCA’s website shows the toy structure with pictures of the Hagia Sophia mosque and red connector arrows drawing comparisons between the toy palace’s dome and the mosque’s, and suggesting the accompanying toy tower resembles a minaret. TCCA thus calls on LEGO to, among other things, “apologize publicly for the violation of religious and cultural feelings.”
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