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Burger King Pulls Radio Ad After
Complaints from Muslims

Associated Press
MIAMI — Burger King agreed Tuesday to pull a radio commercial featuring a character with a Muslim name promoting the fast-food chain's bacon-cheddar sandwich after receiving complaints, an Islamic advocacy group said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Tuesday it was contacted by six American Muslims over the weekend who complained about the advertisements.

"They were offended that someone with a Muslim name would be praising a sandwich that contains pork," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for Washington-based CAIR. Islam prohibits the consumption of pork products.

The council sent a letter to Burger King on Monday asking that the commercial be withdrawn. The company responded Tuesday by agreeing to take the ad off the air, Hooper said.

Messages left after business hours at Burger King's headquarters were not immediately returned Tuesday.

A letter from Burger King spokesman Robert Doughty to the council, excerpts of which were provided by the group, stated that the ads were "not meant to refer to any religion."

"We are making these changes so there is no confusion," Doughty wrote.

Burger King officials will withdraw the commercial and rewrite it to delete the references that Muslims found objectionable, according to the council.

In the ads, a character using the Muslim name "Rasheed" reads a poem listing the virtues of Burger King's bacon-cheddar Whopper sandwich.

The character also greets others with "peace" and is introduced to "brothers and sisters" in a coffee house. Muslims greet each other by saying "peace to you" in Arabic and refer to each other as "brothers" and "sisters."

"That crossed the line," Hooper said.

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