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Kenyan mosque Jay-Z t-shirt draws criticism from clergymen


Jay-Z was seen wearing the t-shirt showing Lamu’s Riyadha Mosque on March 30, as he walked out of a restaurant in Santa Monica, California.

The images were uploaded to Instagram by t-shirt designer Zeddie Loky, who is Kenyan, and clothing brand, blkburd genes.
On April 3, the Riyadh Mosque posted a letter to Loky on his Facebook page, claiming that the board of directors and worshipers were “disturbed and genuinely insulted” by the photos of Jay-Z wearing the t-shirt, which features a green image of the mosque on a white background, with the word “Lamu” printed above it.

“Rest assured, we do not consider it an honor or a privilege for the historic Mosque and its founder Habib Swaleh,” the letter read.

“When the wearers of these T-shirts find themselves in bars, clubs and all kinds of sacrilegious articulations, it is certainly an affront to spiritual respect and dignity to all who revere the mosque, its founder and the general Muslim community within and outside Lamu. “

The letter called on Loky to “show respect for the mosque by ‘removing the portrait from our mosque'”.

Loky then apologized to the mosque in a letter seen by CNN.

The designer, who is also CEO of blkburd genes, clarified that only 20 of the T-shirts have been produced and those who own one have been urged to respect the mosque “by not wearing it in bars or clubs. if they decide to do so. wear. ”

The Riyadh Mosque confirmed to CNN that it had received Loky’s apology.

Clothing brand blkburd genes is “a scientific design company with a mission to educate people around the world about history, nature and current affairs,” according to its website. He is based in Los Angeles.

CNN has reached out to Jay-Z for comment.

Lamu is located on the east coast of Kenya. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The United Nations cultural agency describes it as “the oldest and best-preserved Swahili colony in East Africa,” noting that it has “hosted major Muslim religious festivals since the 19th century and has become a important center for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures. “

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