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How a T-shirt Jay-Z Wore Created Unintended Consequences

A US-based designer has apologised for using a portrait of a historic mosque in Kenya’s island of Lamu on a T-shirt worn by celebrity Jay-Z, an official in charge of the site has told the BBC. Riyadha Mosque’s leaders had objected to the T-shirt as it could be worn to “sacrilegious joints” like bars. Lamu is a Unesco-listed World Heritage site and the 19th-Century mosque is a top tourist attraction. Jay-Z was spotted in the T-shirt as he left a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, on 30 March, CNN reported. “Many people were angry about this and thought that the officials running the mosque were involved,” Mr Badawy said. It prompted him to write a public letter to Mr Loky, the chief executive officer of clothing design company Blkburd Genes. The letter said that worshippers “actually feel insulted by the photos of Jay-Z wearing Blkburd Genes T-shirt portraying our Riyadha mosque”. “Rest assured we neither consider it an honour or privilege for the historical mosque and its founder Habib Swaleh,” the letter said.


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