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Vodafone removes contentious Muslim scientist ad

British telecommunications company Vodafone’s Egyptian unit has dropped an advertisement showing an early Muslim scientist, Abbas Ibn Firnas, as a dim man who fell off a cliff when trying to fly with feathered wings.
 Top telecom company Vodafone finds itself embroiled in ..
 
 
British telecommunications company Vodafone’s Egyptian unit has dropped an advertisement showing an early Muslim scientist, Abbas Ibn Firnas, as a dim man who fell off a cliff when trying to fly with feathered wings. The decision was made after the company received viewer complaints who took to the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter to complain about what they said was an insult to the historic Islamic figure. In the statement, posted on its Facebook page, Vodafone said the advertisement was supposed to be funny but "due to the fact that some of our customers perceived (it) as offensive, we decided to remove this ad from YouTube and from our official Facebook fans page." The company added however that due to the Eid al-Adha holidays, the complete removal of the advertisement from all TV channels "will take place gradually over the next few days." Ibn Firnas, also known as Abbas Qasim Ibn Firnas was a Muslim Berber polymath, was born in Izn-Rand Onda, Al-Andalus (today's Ronda, Spain), and lived in the Emirate of Córdoba till his death in 887. He is known for an early attempt at aviation. He is said to have jumped from a height, wings attached and covered head to toe in feathers, in a failed attempt at flying, although he survived the jump. The advertisement made for Vodafone's USB internet service shows three young men starring in an Egyptian time travel comedy appearing before Firnas with a laptop and a USB stick in order to lure him out of the experiment. Firnas disapproves of their offer even after they show him a Wikipedia entry on the Wright brothers, who pioneered aviation in the 20th century and hurtles himself down the cliff. Headquartered in Newbury, UK, Vodafone is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers (behind China Mobile), with around 332 million proportionate subscribers as at 30 September 2010.


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