A Middle East retailer is set to withdraw Trump products from its shelves following the Republican presidential hopeful’s anti-Muslim tirade.
Lifestyle, a Dubai-based home decor chain, took decisive action after Trump called for a travel ban on Muslims entering the United States. The stores will remove all products made by his brands in its retail locations across the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Tanzania, write Schams Elwazer and John Defterios for CNN Money.
Lifestyle withdraws Trump-branded products from all stores
“In light of the recent statements made by the presidential candidate in the U.S. media, we have suspended sale of all products from the Trump Home décor range,” said Lifestyle CEO Sachin Mundhwa. Lifestyle is part of Landmark Group.
The comments have ignited a firestorm around his campaign and the Republican party in general, with many commentators wondering how the incendiary comments will affect the credibility of the party. The latest outburst was met with incredulity around the world, and Middle Eastern businessmen have criticized the statement.
“It was a shocking comment,” Dubai property mogul Khalam Al-Habtoor told CNN. “These Muslims — they are investing billions and billions in the United States and creating jobs for the Americans.”
Business interests could suffer due to anti-Trump backlash
Trump also makes a lot of money from his holdings in countries where Muslims make up the majority of the population. He holds a number of golf resorts and other luxury properties in Islamic countries, and the tirade will almost certainly impact his businesses.
“I think he damaged all his brand in all the Muslim countries … nobody will accept him,” said Al-Habtoor, who previously declared himself a supporter of the Republican candidate. At the same time a number of his business partners are staying out of the debate on his anti-Muslim comments.
Luxury developer DAMAC Properties, which is building the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, expressed its desire to maintain a distance between business and politics.
“Our agreement is with the Trump Organization as one of the premium golf course operators in the world and as such we would not comment further on Mr. Trump’s personal or political agenda, nor comment on the internal American political debate scene,” said Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president at DAMAC Properties, in a statement.
Despite Arabian Business magazine publishing an article titled: “Time for Gulf firms to review their links with the toxic Trump brand,” DAMAC has decided to take no action. The planned resort will feature 160 villas and is part of a huge DAMAC development on the outskirts of Dubai.
Conservatives divided over Trump outburst
Conservative media sources displayed a mixed reaction to Trump’s calls for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, with some claiming that his idea was not completely out of the question. Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and other media sources, took to Twitter to suggest that Trump might have a point.
“Has Trump gone too far? Regardless, public is obsessed on radical Muslim dangers,” Murdoch tweeted on Tuesday. “Complete refugee pause to fix vetting makes sense.”
However Murdoch is talking about refugees, not any Muslim that wishes to enter the United States for work or pleasure. In the United Kingdom, an online petition calling for the Republican candidate to be banned from the country gathered over 100,000 signatures and MPs will be forced to debate the issue.
Under UK law those guilty of hate speech can be banned from entering the country, and Trump could fall foul of the legal system.