ENFIELD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) — Lego will cease production of a popular “Star Wars” toy set after Muslim communities complained about the product as the company says the criticism played no part in the decision to do so.
The Independent reports that several Muslim groups in Austria claimed “Jabba’s Palace” was anti-Muslim as it showed popular “Star Wars” character Jabba the Hut in a mosque-like lair with a hookah, guns and an imprisoned Chewbacca.
“This sort of thing does not belong in a child’s bedroom,” Melissa Gunes, spokeswoman for Austria’s Turkish Cultural Association, told The Independent. “The game is pedagogical dynamite. It depicts Muslims as terrorists.”
RT News reports that Muslim critics felt “Jabba’s Palace” looked like the Hagia Sophia and the Jami al-Kabir mosques.
“We are very grateful and congratulate Lego on the decision to take Jabba’s Palace out of production,” Birol Killic, president of the Turkish Cultural Association, told RT News.
In a statement, Lego says the decision to stop production of the set didn’t come from the criticism.
“As a normal process products in the LEGO Star Wars assortment usually have a life-cycle of one to three years after which they leave the assortment and may be renewed after some years,” the statement read. “The LEGO Star Wars product Jabba’s Palace 9516 was planned from the beginning to be in the assortment only until the end of 2013 as new exiting models from the Star Wars universe will follow.
“The LEGO Group regrets that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to interpret it wrongly, but point out that the design of the product only refers to the fictional content of the Star Wars saga,” the statement said.
The uprising against the Lego set began earlier this year when a father in Austria’s Islamic community found that his sister bought it as a present for his son, according to The Independent.
Lego originally fought back against the claims that “Jabba’s Palace” was anti-Muslim.
Jabba the Hut was first introduced in “Return of the Jedi” in 1983 and the Lego set first hit shelves in 2012.