Failures in Cultural Awareness: When Breweries want to be funny

Muslims have been living in Germany for over 40 years. For over 40 years they have been part of the German community. And still, great parts of German society have no awareness whatsoever on how Muslims think, believe, and feel.

German newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung reports that a small German brewery wanted to land a publicity stunt for the upcoming soccer World Championship and started a small production line with the bottle caps of participating nations. Flag awareness and respect for national flags being so low in Germany (a sad story for another time), the brewery did not think that any nation would have a problem with their flag being misappropriated like that.

Thing is, Saudi Arabia is participating. Now the attentive reader will know that the flag of Saudi Arabia is also the Islamic declaration of faith (another sad story of misappropriation). The attentive reader will also know that drinking alcohol is considered a sin in Islam. The result: another shitstorm, hurt feelings, people on all sides of the political spectrum throwing around sound bites, talking about the end of Western civilization. An unnecessary conflict.

Even after 40+ years of German Muslim history, there are still people living in Germany who do not know these simple facts about their compatriots.

How can we disseminate cultural awareness so that stupid mistakes like this and the resulting conflict can be prevented? What is your opinion? Share it in the comments!

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