Clothes and accessories are one of the easiest – and most effective ways – to make a political statement. Through our outfits, we've shown support for everything from No More Page Three to the EU Remain campaign. Now, people are targeting Islamophobia with the help of a humble tote bag. One passenger on the Berlin metro was recently spotted wearing an amusing and unexpectedly compelling tote that aims to combat fear of the Arabic language. Journalist Nader Alsarras saw the bag and uploaded a photo of it to Facebook. The tote features text, written in Arabic, that in English reads: "This text has no other purpose than to terrify those who are afraid of the Arabic language."
As of Thursday, the post had been shared nearly 15,000 times on Facebook and a tweet of the image has received more than 89,000 retweets and 109,000 likes. Social media is teeming with people wanting to bag (ahem) one of the totes for themselves.
The bag is produced by Rock Paper Scissors Mafia, a Palestinian company based in Haifa. It comes in a range of colours and is "handmade using silk screen prints," according to BuzzFeed. A company spokesperson told Buzzfeed: “I think the overall situation in Europe is causing this reaction [to the bag]." It was already reportedly one of the company's most popular items locally, and since the photo went viral, enquiries have gone through the roof. On Thursday, the company posted on Facebook that it has been "overwhelmed with requests and orders".
The good news? The company says it's opening an online store on the 21st of August, so we can all show our support.