Following rumours of an alleged blasphemy against the firm, dozens of Islamists from the extreme Barelvi organisation Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in Karachi, Pakistan, went on the rampage. After learning that the firm had committed “blasphemy” against Islam, the demonstrators tore down Samsung’s billboards in the city’s mobile market and engaged in vandalism.
The enraged TLP members targeted billboards in several sites across the city during their protests, which were not only confined to the mobile market.
Initial reports on the issue claimed that Samsung had included a blasphemous QR code on their smartphones. The Islamists then invaded Karachi’s streets and began destroying the company’s billboards.
Later on, though, a fresh rumour surfaced claiming that the ‘blasphemy’ was performed by a Samsung Mobile employee who named his WiFi network in a ‘blasphemous’ manner.
Nobody is really clear what “blasphemy” was committed, but that hasn’t prevented TLP extremists from wreaking havoc and hurling insults at Samsung Mobile on the streets of Karachi.
This type of incident is not new in Pakistan. The American beverage giant Pepsi received a threat on December 31 of the previous year when it printed the name of the Prophet Muhammad in a QR code on its 7UP bottles. If the corporation does not remove the QR Code from a 7 UP soft drink bottle, the guy threatened the truck driver for Pepsi with severe repercussions. When questioned, the guy, who gave his name as Mulla, stated that the QR code was really the name of the Prophet Muhammad and threatened to set fire to the vehicle if the business did not get rid of the emblem.