Islamic NGO Ikatan Muslimim Malaysia (Isma) has called for companies to “learn from Shell’s mistake” of using a woman to sell its products and services.
FMT quoted Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman as saying that this was the outcome when some companies chose to “exploit” women. “Using women to improve sales of goods and services is an exploitation of women which strays far from the value of purity accorded to Muslim women,” he said.
25-year-old Shell employee Nor Shafila Khairusalleh, otherwise known as “Gadis Air Mineral”, was the face of the promotional standee for Shell Malaysia’s dynaflex technology campaign, one of the company’s efforts to help keep engines clean and protected for efficient running. It became controversial when several men shared photos of themselves acting indecently towards the standee. Scores of Malaysians and netizens have since rallied their support for Nor Shafila, calling out the pictures to be distasteful and the actions of the men to be “sick”.
Shell Malaysia was prompt in addressing the issue, having removed the standee from all their sites with immediate effect. A man named Shahril Azmi Abdul Shukor has also taken to his personal Facebook profile to apologise for acting indecently towards the “Gadis Air Mineral” standee.
In response, Zaik said that Nor Shafila was also to be blamed, as “a Muslim woman should not accept the offer to become a model to help a company in its sales efforts, even if she was allowed to wear a scarf and cover up.”
Zaik also said that it was “natural” for men to be aroused when looking at women although it did not excuse the controversial pictures. “They should lower their gaze and be careful of their actions. What these men did shows moral decadence. Where is their sense of faith and loyalty to God? Don’t they know God is watching?” he said.
However, it would be wrong to put all of the blame on the men, according to Zaik. “It’s not their fault alone. This incident happened because irresponsible companies will not stop exploiting our women,” he added.
What are you thoughts on Isma’s response to Shell Malaysia’s “Gadis Air Mineral” standee controversy? Let us know in the comments!
Source: FMT / Featured image: thetrendingnow.blogspot.com via Pinterest.