Online shopping company Amazon highlighted a moment of friendship that represents the interfaith solidarity and harmony the world needs. In their Christmas advertisement, Amazon shows the friendship between a Christian and a Muslim man. While reports of Islamophobia have been running rampant in the United States and the United Kingdom among other countries, Amazon was seen promoting interfaith friendship and sent a message that one doesn’t need to follow the same religion to be a good friend.
In the ad, the imam visits his friend, a priest. Then they catch up on the old memories and the pain and troubles of old age. And at the end of the advertisement, both of them order the same gift for each other; kneepads to ease each other’s knees while they kneel to pray. While the ad is scripted, actors are religious leaders in real life. The role of the priest is played by Rev. Gary Bradley, a vicar of a London Church, whereas Zubeir Hassam, principal of the Muslim School Oadby, in Leicester plays the imam.
Hassam told the Telegraph that despite the ad being scripted, it was a reflection of his real life. He said that this was what he actually did in the society. He confesses hat he did not have to act but just be himself. Speaking about Islamophobia, Hassam said that with all the bad publicity they have had, this commercial was a very positive way of showing that different people of different faiths could get together. According to reports by the Guardian, Amazon had consulted with the Church of England, the Muslim council of Great Britain and the Christian Muslim Forum to make sure that the commercial did not disrespect any tradition. Simon Morris, Director of advertising at Amazon told the Huffington Post that they thought that the ad shows a very authentic and charming story. He said that this was a legitimate story. He further stated that the understood that some people might be sensitive to it but it was about selflessness.