Saturday, May 02, 2015

Sunday Sermon:The Big Cover Up

In the UK the Sexual Offences Act 2003 describes what parts of the body should remain covered so that the law is not broken ...

So there are standards that are enforceable with regard to people.

Similarly the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and revisions  and 1964 place limits or restrictions on the ultimate freedom of a persons right to express themselves freely in public. Indecent material as defined by the 1981 Indecent Displays Control Act is restricted on the grounds that it may Deprave and Corrupt.

It is through this legal lens as well as common sense that I apply my mind to the changing logo of Starbucks coffee.

Whilst I can accept that the original logo above could have been a little troublesome

I find the above logos perfectly acceptable in terms of decency and suitability under British law.


Now, doing the rounds on the Internet in 2015 is the claim that in parts of the Middle East, for example in Saudi Arabia,  that the Starbucks logo has recently been changed to the above.

This is FALSE

The logo was so changed for a brief period around the year 2000  (for months not years) but it is currently back to one that does include a woman.

Let's check this shall we:

Saudi Arabia store locator

Law in Saudi Arabia
[Disclaimer: I did not study law in Saudi Arabia, whereas I did study law in England, however I can read, surf the Internet, and make logical connections and conclusions]

  • In Saudi Arabia there is a constitutional like document called the Basic Law.
  • However in Article 1 (from 83) of this law we dive straight into .. religion  /The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic State. Its religion is Islam. Its constitution is Almighty God's Book, The Holy Qur'an, and the Sunna (Traditions) of the Prophet (PBUH). Arabic is the language of the Kingdom. The City of Riyadh is the capital./
  • Immediately you'll recognise a logical inconsistency for what if your religion is not Islam, or you have no religion?

    [Note see UN Universal declaration of Human rights

What did I learn?

- For me, one of the qualities of British law is that it changes and evolves over time

- British Law is not centred around a set of laws of an ancient religious faith

- For Marcus, British Law has always had some general principles.  But these may need to be updated or in the worst case overridden or rewritten based on 20th and 21st century concepts. [Examples: Patents, Animal Rights, Declaration of Human Rights, Genetic Engineering, Social Media, Citizenship, Copyright]

- The Starbucks logo is currently a picture of a curvy woman with a crown and this is still true in Saudi Arabia.  Internet reports about a more restrictive logo are complete and utter rubbish with regard to today.