Muslim Community Responds: We Love the Apple NYC Cube

I Think the Apple cube in New York is awesomeness!
– Unverified, anonymous Muslim on random website

I pulled the quote above from a random site I won’t cite. Based on this, and the ability to extrapolate a statement by one person to apply to an entire group, I now make a stunning statement:

Muslims profess serious love for the Apple Cube.

applecube.pngRidiculous isn’t it? But the opposite happened, and has spread like wildfire. Read the (at times immature) Digg discussion here and you’ll see my point.

The website that originally “cited” the story about Muslims raging over the Apple Cube is the Middle East Media Research Institute, an oft-criticized group that supposedly translates Arabic media into english. Now MEMRI recently put out a republished/translated statement claiming that somebody in the Muslim community was offended by the Apple’s NYC Cube store, supposedly because it looks like the Ka’ba (the House of Abraham). Sites like ZDNet and TUAW soon followed suit, spreading the story–particularly in the Apple user community–that the Muslim community was offended by Apple’s NYC cube.

Apple lovers and armchair social scientists alike were quick to the draw with their criticisms of the Muslims who were allegedly offended by the Cube. The “issue” has just started an all-out flamewar.

What really makes me angry is that under the guise of news about Apple (which we all love), a blatant flat-out lie was perpetuated. The reality of the matter was that it was a random post on a random website, without a single supporting name or organization to reflect the “muslim community’s outrage.” The MEMRI article did not even link to, nor identify, the Arabic news source it was supposed to be citing or translating!

If you look again into MEMRI’s background, the organization seems to be a source not known for being unbiased.

Now I wouldn’t be one to pass judgement quickly, but given these irregularities, I would tend to think that this is plain propaganda aimed at discrediting the Muslim community.

What’s even worse is that some people have exploited our passion for Apple for political purposes. There is no place for that crap.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.


  1. I love mac and the Apple stores especially the Genius bar and the black shirts with the word genius printed on it. I’d like to know how I can get one of those shirts.

    MEMRI has been shady from the beginning, always being extremely selective, slanted, and tending to inflame the passions of its readers. People who do not know Arabic should find a better source than that for their news from the Middle East.

  2. a truly nice design, more building like this should be built as an apple store around the world. I will gladly support that.

  3. That is a beautiful glass cube.

    A Real Live Muslim

    PS I love New York.

    Thanks for writing this.

  4. I’m a Muslim and I’m not offended by this in the least. It looks like the “fury” has been manufactured, but the way the Muslim community is in some places, people may well get the wrong end of the stick and start yet another angry campaign – whoever started this may not know what he or she may have started. As it is, the Apple building looks nothing like the Ka’ba in Mecca; it’s just a cube shape. I have a Mac and will probably buy another.

  5. From a devout Muslim and a Mac fanatic – thank you for posting this! It is a welcome change from the hysteria I’ve seen all over the Web regarding the Apple store.

    For what it’s worth, I do plan on making my pilgrimage to it the next time I’m in NYC.

  6. I am Muslim and I am an Apple fan to the core. I remember seeing pics of the new cube being built with the black covering over it and it instantly reminded me of the Ka’ba. I dont think that it is offensive , it was just a coincidence. Apple has been using cubes as apart of its marketing, and we as Muslims, do not own the right to cube shape objects or buildings so why be offended.

  7. George Bush spread the rumor so that all Apple enthusiasts would support the invasion of Iraq.

  8. As a devout Muslim that can’t part with his Mac, I want to thank you for writing this. I live in NYC and simply love new store. In all honesty I didn’t make the connection to Ka’ba until this dumb frenzy started.

  9. J. Angelo Racoma. Thank you for your very sensible and nice article. My name is Mohamed and I am a muslim living in Egypt. I was outraged by the news and by the respond of a website like TUAW that I used to like.

    I have posted comments on TUAW and Digg and I am happy that someone like you responded in this very sensible way. If the american administration think the same way as you do I guess we would have seen peace in the middle east by now and we wouldn’t have to read one day that America killed in three years three times more than the number Saddam’s regime killed in 20 years in IRAQ.

    I am a muslim and I love any cube made by Apple and the geometrical resemblance to the Kaaba seems a very rediculous idea to me.

    MEMRI and TUAW you should be ashamed of what you have done in the media so far by your biased and rash/irrational posts respectively.

  10. Muslim from Saudi Arabia here.

    I haven’t been to NYC for a while but I would absolutely LOVE to visit this piece of mouth-watering Apple goodness.

  11. I have to agree with stabani. As a Muslim, I am ‘compelled’ to agree with the author’s stereotype.

  12. You have to admit, though, it says a lot about the Muslim world today that people didn’t find the idea that this would outrage Muslims that shocking.

  13. As a Muslim, I love the cube-shaped Apple store. MEMRI is always crying wolf, and rarely right.

    Read my blog entry from the Grand Opening, a bunch of Muslim friends and I all went, waited over 2 hours to get in, and had an awesome time. There’s nothing controversial about the cube, it’s even smaller than the real Ka’aba in Mecca.

  14. well…any shape like cube looks nice if made good… ๐Ÿ˜€

    i would preffer it to be black with gloden APPLE…imagine it….a big gold plated bitten apple…it will be awsome…


  15. I’m a Satanist, and I’m outraged at the shape of the pentagon. It totally abuses the five-sided shape, and is offensive to me and my beliefs. I demand that they tear it down and make it into a much more politically correct rectangle.

  16. im a real muslim and haven’t seen the apple cube live but i think its beautiful. It gives the city a slightly more modern look. But my oppinion is New York City is overrated! i could name at least 20 cities more beautiful, with better people

  17. Quick undercover – post your offense on a random website.

    It will then be picked up through shoddy journalism and we will all know that the satanist community is offended by the Pentagon. Let truthiness run free.

  18. I agree with manhattan-muslim.

    The Apple “Cube Store”, I think it looks great. As for the reference to it looking like the Kaa’ba, last I checked in my dusty mind of high-school history class, the muslim community doesn’t own a monopoly or patent on cubes, or cubes draped in black curtains. The Kaa’ba was at some point prior to the establishment of Islam, a shrine for “pagean” idols (since removed or destroyed). So prior work can be shown ๐Ÿ™‚

    And just to go on a rant about NYC… NYC is overrated, and well, since I used to live north of it, I hate everytime I say I’m from “New York” people automatically think it’s NYC. Now I say “New York State.” Most people north of NYC would agree with you, as a _general statement_ (doesn’t apply to all of the NYC population), _some_ of the population of NYC could indeed use a few lessons in courtesy, manners and just need to “come back down to Earth.” I know there are great people in NYC, but when someone from NYC forrays into the Catskills to go “deer hunting” and shoots a cow… Kicker is they completely didn’t know it was a cow, but still thought it was a deer, even after hauling it to the local butcher shop… yeah, Major Tom? Ground Control to Major Tom…

  19. im a muslim. yes that strikes as the kebba. but damn it looks good too. and i dont see why any muslim should be offended either.

  20. Inviting readers to check out the background of an org by linking to the wikipedia page? classy!

  21. As a practicing Muslim who was born and raised here in the U.S. I think the Apple cube looks awesome – and I’m being serious here. Trust me there is nothing to be offended about. If anything it’s kind of cool that it does resemble the Kaaba if anything imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. “Now I wouldnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt be one to pass judgement quickly, but given these irregularities, I would tend to think that this is plain propaganda aimed at discrediting the Muslim community.”

    Yeah because 1,000’s or terrorist bombers haven’t done that already. *sigh*
    Why can’t we get Muslim’s to march in the street in protest of those that hyjack their religion of “peace”?

  23. im a muslim and i think that new apple building looks beutiful, if i ever goto NY i would like to see it.

    also i think its not good for this new thing about dont do anything that would make the muslims angry stuff. there was only one thing that offended us, other than that we are normal people. anyone who gets offeneded by somthing like this is ignorant and perhaps trying to cause a problem.


  24. I,m a Muslim , and well i dont really like apple , but that is one beautiful structure and it does not offend me in anyway

  25. I am Muslim and a Mac fan. This childish discussion made me smile.

    What’s happening to American people once we knew as intelligent?

  26. I’m not Muslim and thought the initial story was a bit suspect and find it reassuring that Muslims post here saying that only are they not offended, but that the Apple ‘cube’ is cool.

    So, cheers for that ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Why are we having this discussion? Who would even take such a comment seriously? If people are expected to believe that nonsense, I guess we should also believe that the Muslims don’t like the Borg… /sigh

  28. Am Muslim and agree with rest but I’m actually posting cos I accidently got linked to this site and hopefully you can help me out. About six months ago i bought an iBook G4 after years of PC use cos I know Mac users are generally ga-ga over them. I was told they’re more easier to get to grips with than a PC but I’ve only used the internet thingy cos I don’t really understand how to do all the obvious things I could do on PC. Really sorry for kinda jumping in but it didn’t even occur to me that there would be sites like this (I’m assuming this is to do with macs? Bit thick, obviously!) For the record I really am a Muslim and the cube wotsit is ok by me (wasn’t aware of any of this probably cos from UK)

  29. Muslims love Apple, I declare I am a Muslim and am typing this on my ultra cool black iBook.

    Now get someone to make a black power cord to match and my life will be perfect.

    It is great that people get to hear about MEMRI and their lies. They basically lie. Then they lie some more. Then they lie some more. But challenging them is hard. Glad they stepped on Apple’s toes. We’ve been telling folks they’ve been lying for years. Now Apple can tell everyone for us! Yea!

    God works in mysterious ways, yes?

  30. I am Muslim, and was initially dismayed when I read about this…thinking here we go again. Realizing it was based on an item from MEMRI, I felt much better. If anything, people who did not know before will now know how quickly they should dismiss items from MEMRI.

  31. I am not a Muslim, but the store offends me. So do ice cubes, Nintendo game cubes, Rubix cubes, the Borg cube, tinned tea, subwoofers, most boxes, and six sided dice. I’m fine with the Kaaba, but I hate most cubes. I was dropped on one as a child. It hurt me head.

  32. “supposedly translates Arabic media into english”

    Err…they actually DO translate hours and hours of footage into English. And contrary to popular belief, a large percentage of it comes from Arab liberals.

  33. Muslims Offended by Rapper Ice Cube, Demand Name Change! ‘In a recent stunning development, unnamed Muslims on anonymous blogs have demanded that rapper Ice Cube change his name at one. A cube is the shape of the Ka’baa, and if the rapper does not comply a fatwah will be issued.’

  34. “Jimmy Said,
    October 12, 2006 @ 2:22 pm
    You have to admit, though, it says a lot about the Muslim world today that people didnรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt find the idea that this would outrage Muslims that shocking.”

    I don’t think it says a lot about the Muslim world at all.

    I think it says a lot about the way the “Muslim world”, as manipulated by big-media, is made to appear. The fact that relatively small and disparate groups of fanatics are prone acting like mental midgets and getting lots of press is simply an example of the old saw about how “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

    We look just as screwed up from their side, when non-US media treat dolts like George W. Bush, Jerry Fallwell and Fred Phelps as if they were representative of American culture at large. Heck.

  35. As a sort of lapsed Muslim, I didn’t even notice that it looked remotely like the Ka’ba on my last trip to NYC, and I’ve been to Mecca 3 times!

    But I stood in silent awe anyway!

    Leave to MEMRI to come up with some bogus story like this

  36. That is one beautiful cube, and if some think it has some kaaba undertones, well immitaiton is the best form of flattery. Thank you, Apple!
    As a muslim, am as much offended by the Apple cube as the Egyptians are and the Pharohs would have been, if they were around, by the pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris. Oh, la, la!

  37. So did a muslim website actually make these statements?
    If yes, then you should have no truck with MEMRI. They are simply reporting facts. Does it mean that all Muslims are offended by the Apple Mecca? Of course not. Muslims are a pretty diverse group with different levels of religiosity and fanaticism. Just like all other religions.
    All those who want to trash MEMRI are just embarassed that it brings to light all the really ridiciulous Islamic fanatics. Better you should have the courage to take on your fanatics. It’s high time.

  38. i am offended by all the new york city bashing! and as a filipino who loves new york city, i therefore conclude that all filipinos love new york. in fact, there’s even a filipino tv show called “i luv ny.”

    btw, i have a muslim roommate. i use a mac, he doesn’t. so yeah, maybe some muslims don’t like apple =)

  39. Jan, take on my fanatics? Do you personally “take on your fanatics”? I doubt it. Would everyone just ignore stupid comments already?

    It’s a nice-looking building. It resembles the Kaaba. People have different opinions about that. Matters not. End of story.


  40. Very interesting and thanks for the tip. Always good to hear both sides of a topic. I will include a link to this in my article. Fair and Balanced, heh ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Way to miss the point Jan – MEMRI claims one website was offended, but their title said ‘muslims provoked’. Further titles from the likes of ZDNet said ‘muslim community offended’

    Logical leaps without logic ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. As a PC user I am mortally offended that the building isn’t a beige rectangle that hums like the motorway. As a Muslim, though, I am absolutely not offended and clearly not enraged. Indeed, why should anyone be offended by the recreation a beautiful building if that were the case?

  43. What is interesting about this is the Macintosh platform supported non-roman languages far before the DOS operating system did.

    Apple has been more responsive to the needs of the Arab-speaking world, where many Muslims live.

  44. read juan cole’s blog for some history on MEMRI. they’re just a propaganda outfit. their translations are usually – yes, usually – fraudulent. they just rewrite history and don’t worry that others will find their mistakes and correct them. they don’t care. their job is to get the first big rush of news because this is the way the media works. when the truth is outed later, it’ll be a back-pager and the media just won’t cover it with the same fervor.

    can you say WMD?

  45. MEMRI as far as I know is an Israeli propaganda outfit. Usually their translations are said to be accurate but what they chose to translate reflects a certain bias.

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