The German Embassy in Riyadh expressed regret over the unfortunate incident in which the German company Eichbaum used the Saudi national flag in a PR campaign linked to the FIFA World Championship 2018 in Russia.
The embassy welcomed the swift and unequivocal action taken by the company.
The Saudi national flag carries the Islamic Shahadah (declaration of faith), the first of the five Pillars of Islam.
The embassy said in a statement that Eichbaum did not act in bad faith when using the Saudi flag in an inappropriate and unacceptable manner.
After the company was made aware of the implications of using the Saudi flag it took immediate action, withdrawing the product from the market and apologizing to Muslims in Germany and worldwide, it said.
The embassy said that on 11 May, the company issued an apology stating, “For many years, Eichbaum has been printing the flags of the participating 32 football nations on its bottle caps on the occasion of the football World Cup. In case we have inadvertently offended you, we most formally apologize for this.”
Stressing its apology for this unfortunate string of events, the company immediately stopped production and withdrew the affected products.
The German Embassy in Riyadh said in its statement that about 5 million Muslims live in Germany, enjoying all civil liberties like all other citizens irrespective of their creed or nationality.
The German government is closely working with representatives of Muslim associations in a continuous and structured dialogue designed to strengthen positive participation of all religious communities in German society, it added.