A Turkish community in Austria has accused Lego of racism amid claims a model from its Star Wars range resembles a renowned mosque.
It includes an arsenal of toy weapons and urges fans to free Han Solo from the structure – as goes the plot in the film Return of the Jedi. It is also the location where Jabba enslaves Carrie Fisher's character Princess Leia.
Lego model Jabba's Palace, which retails for £119.99
But the product has offended some, who believe it looks much like Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia mosque.
The matter came to light after the item was spotted in a toy shop range at Christmas.
In a statement, the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria, called on Lego to apologise for affronting religious and cultural feelings.
It says: “What Lego are recommending parents buy as a Christmas gift? The answer is pure racism,” the Austrian Times reports.
In the statement, also seen by The Telegraph and The Daily Mail, the group refers to Jabba the Hut as a “terrorist” who likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed.
Istanbul's Hagia Sophia mosque
It adds: "It is apparent that, for the figure of the repulsive bad guy Jabba and the whole scenery, racial prejudices and hidden suggestions against Orientals and Asians were used as deceitful and criminal personalities.”
It also claims the model is similar to the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut and adds the “Combination of temple building and bunker facilities where shots are fired cannot be appropriate for children between 9 and 14 years old.
“One would expect more empathy and responsibility from a manufacturer of toys that has produced toys and models that are good for teaching for decades.”
The group has claimed it is considering legal action against Lego and urges parents “not to buy toys of war or toys of discrimination”.
A spokesman for Lego has denied any link between Jabba’s Palace and the mosque.
She said: “The Lego Star Wars product Jabba's Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque. The Lego mini-figures are all modelled on characters from the movie.
“We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.”
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