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August 10, 2015

Urban Outfitters pulls third item offensive to Hindus

Philadelphia-based company took goddess jewelry stand off website after protest

Religion Urban Outfitters
Hindu jewelry stand Contributed Art/

Urban Outfitters drew criticism for selling a jewelry stand in the shape of a Hindu goddess.

Urban Outfitters is once again facing criticism for its use of Hindu religious imagery in a product.

The Philadelphia-based company pulled a jewelry stand in the shape of a Hindu goddess 12 hours after complaints from the Universal Society of Hinduism, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

This is the third time the company has offended Hindus. It came under fire for printing the image of the god Ganesha on socks in 2013 and on bedcovers in 2014.

Rajan Zed, president of the University Society of Hinduism, scolded Urban Outfitters on Twitter Sunday.

The description of the item, according to Zed's website, called the Lotus Jewelry Stand "perfect for holding all your rings + things" and an "enlightened white ceramic storage solution shaped like Durga in a blooming lotus flower."

The jewelry stand was actually in the shape of the goddess Lakshmi, Zed corrected.

He thanked the company after the item was removed but also urged Urban Outfitters to train its senior executives in religious and cultural sensitivity.

Various pins on Pinterest show that the item had been available for sale for at least the past nine months.

Other Twitter users have also complained about the store's use of religious symbols.

The Ganesh T-shirt is currently sold out, according to the Urban Outfitters website. The tank top with the mantra "om shanti shanti om" is no longer available on the company's website but was previously sold under the "spiritual gangster" line.