Up above is one of the logos for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Does it look especially racist or anti-Muslim to you?
It does to Bahram Afsharzadeh, the secretary-general of Iran’s National Olympic Committee. Afsharzadeh sent a letter of protest to the International Olympic Committee, complaining about the “racist logo,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
And why is it racist? Because, according to Afsharzadeh, the oddball font used to spell “2012” looks like the word “Zion” — a biblical term for the city of Jerusalem and surrounding area.
“There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the games, especially Iran, which abides by commitment to the values and principles,” Iran’s letter to the IOC reads. Iran is threatening to boycott the Olympics if the logo isn’t changed and says it will urge other Muslim countries to do the same.
The IOC’s response: “The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else,” the Times says.
Our response is twofold: First, the logo is really badly designed. Looking at the logo, we don’t see “Zion,” but we didn’t see “2012” right away either. It’s just a poor attempt at being hip or modern, or whatever the organizers were trying to represent.
Second: Iran is just noticing this? The logo has made its debut in June 2007. If it took Iran three-plus years to take offense, then the issue probably isn’t really there.