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New cola tries to bottle anti-Americanism

If you enjoy drinking pop and are looking for a way to break America’s cultural stranglehold on the world, you’re in luck. Tawfik Mathlouthi has created Mecca Cola as a way of protesting American policies.

Mathlouthi says he came up with the idea when he noticed his 10-year-old enjoyed eating at McDonald’s and drinking Coke. Angered that his 10-year-old wasn’t participating in his protest, Mathlouthi created Mecca Cola so the kid wouldn’t support America by drinking a product of one of its corporations.

That’ll teach us.

Bearing a label that looks suspiciously familiar, Mecca Cola’s cans and bottles tell consumers “No more drinking stupid. Drink with commitment.” That’s the first time I’ve ever had a pop can try to insult me.

Mathlouthi’s approach is pretty hypocritical. First of all, he wants to be a competitor with Coca-Cola, but he stole Coke’s label. The Mecca Cola labels are red and even feature a white ribbon design. The whole idea seems pretty opportunistic, which is something else he’s stealing from American companies. To me, it seems like he’s just merchandising anti-Americanism.

He even says, “If there’s a war, you’d have an extraordinary flare-up of Mecca Cola.” I’m sure he’d hate that. Ten percent of the profits will benefit a Palestinian children’s fund, though never in cash in order to ensure against aiding terrorism.

Mathlouthi, though, says he’s not against America. “We love America opened to the world. We don’t like this America, very dangerous and very strong against others.” Yeah, and once in seventh grade I snapped a kid with a rubber band, and then said I was sorry. I wasn’t.

But he doesn’t seem to care if his slogan sparks more anti-American feelings. “It is not my problem. It is the problem of the U.S. administration. If they want to change anti-U.S. sentiment, they must change their policies and their double standards on human rights and politics.”

If you want to make a statement against this present administration, Mathlouthi, why don’t you try inventing an electric car? It’s obvious to me that Mathlouthi is pandering, but he is doing it well. He is selling a fake moral high ground to people and making a decent profit in the process. It reminds me of bands making fun of rock stars while trying hard to become rock stars. I’m not saying Mathlouthi does not believe everything he is saying, but using it to make money calls some of it into question. I found myself wondering if Coke could sue based on the similarity of their cans. Then there’s the fact that Mathlouthi hired chemists in France to get as close to Coke’s formula as possible. Coke could probably make a case, but doing so would not help its perception in the Arab world where its sales are slipping thanks to Mecca Cola. I don’t understand how you demonstrate your anger toward America by stealing one of its most popular products, wrapping it in a shroud of a particular ideology, and selling it to a disenfranchised population. It sounds like something an American company would do. There are people who agree with me, and they are appalled that the holiest city in Islam is being used to hock a soda.

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m against free enterprise or anything like that. Tawfik Mathlouthi can sell all the pop he wants. I disagree with his assertion that his son is a bad Muslim because he enjoys eating at McDonald’s. McDonald’s has good food. Using American tactics to protest American policies gives tacit approval to America.

Mathlouthi’s idea seems to be confused.

Chris Ricketts is a junior majoringin English.