Photo: Burger King Sign Depicting Hindu Goddess

Burger King, the international hamburger chain, has offended hundreds of millions of Hindus by misusing an image of a Hindu Goddess to promote the sale of burgers. A principal tenet of Hinduism is vegetarianism, thus the use of a Hindu deity in this way is highly offensive to them. The following is from an article posted on the Hindu American Foundation's website:

Washington D.C. (July 7, 2009) - Hindu American Foundation (HAF) leaders demanded that Burger King, the international fast food chain, immediately cease an advertisement campaign it deemed "highly disrespectful and offensive to Hindus worldwide" in a letter sent to corporate headquarters late last Tuesday. The Foundation was alerted by its membership in Spain of a print advertisement depicting an image of the Hindu Goddess, Lakshmi, seated atop a meat sandwich, other foodstuffs and the catch phrase, "A snack that's sacred," in Spanish.

"I was horrified to walk by a Burger King store in my neighborhood to discover an image of the same deity that I worship at my home altar, displayed so disrespectfully promoting a meat sandwich," said Monica Pahilwani, a Spanish Hindu. "A multinational corporation with a global presence should be much more aware of religious and cultural sensitivities, and how truly repelling such an advertisement could be to Hindus."

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