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'Run, Hadji, Run' Fireworks Blows Up in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin, US fireworks retailer is pulling a firework off its shelves after Muslim activists decried the product as "derogatory".
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 7/6/2009, 1:19 PM

A United States fireworks retailer in Wisconsin is pulling a fireworks product off its shelves after Muslim activists decried it as "derogatory".

Wisconsin-based news site Pioneer Press said a "local shopper" from nearby Minnesota found the "Run, Hadji, Run" firework on the shelves of fireworks store Fireworks City in Baldwin, Wisconsin, and contacted the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
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The packaging of "Run Hadji Run", an aerial strobe firework produced in China and imported by Red Rhino Fireworks, depicts a group appearing to be Arabs on camelback, overshadowed by an overhead stealth bomber. On another side of the wrapper, an angry Uncle Sam yanks the beard of a dark man in flowing attire bearing a strong resemblance to Osama bin Laden.

"Hadji" is an Arabic term for someone who has made the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, but CAIR says it also "has often been used as a derogatory term by US soldiers during the Iraq War."

When CAIR contacted the retailer and asked that they pull the product from the shelves, the store management consented.

CAIR has also asked Red Rhino Fireworks to take similar action.  They have also demanded that Red Rhino apologize to the Muslim and Arab community.

Red Rhino's president, Steve Hauser, says the company hasn't offered that firework for sale in years.