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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 09:47 GMT
Clothing logo causing concern
Abdul Rahim
Abdul Rahim says people should reclaim a term seen as racist
A Peterborough businessman is causing controversy with a new clothing label.

The logo he has designed for his T-shirts and tops has offended members of the local Pakistani community, who say it could encourage racism.

Abdul Rahim, who runs Star Crescent Clothing in the Cambridgeshire town, admits his Pak1 logo could look like a racial slur.

But he said fellow Pakistanis should take back the meaning of the word and wear the clothing with pride.

Mr Rahim said: "Pakistan means land of the pure, so to be called a 'paki' is to be called 'the pure'.

"Somehow, somewhere in the 1960s, the racists hijacked this word for their own uses and abuses, and our elders, and society in general allowed them to do so."

But his "streetwear with attitude" has offended some first-generation Asian immigrants in Peterborough.

Image from the label's advert
Some Asian tv stations have rejected adverts for the clothing

Ghulam Shabbir, with the Pakistan Community Association, said: "They look at it as a negative remark, something that was used as an insult towards them, rather than something which was positive."

Some local residents told BBC Look East they thought wearing the Pak1 logo was not appropriate.

One man said: "It's not right, because you'll get abusive calls."

Another man added: "Pakistani is alright. Paki? That's no good."

Abdul Rahim said two Asian television stations have refused to advertise the Pak1 range, but he believes his brand is making its own name for itself.



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