About 200 demonstrators from an Sufi sect protested in front of a Rodeo Drive store in Beverly Hills today, upset that a fashion company is using one of their religious symbols.
“From what I understand the symbol is being used in advertisements, and some of the advertisements are sexually risque,” said Beverly Hills police Lt. Renato Moreno.
The peaceful demonstration was in front of Roberto Cavalli store, in the 300 block of North Rodeo Drive. It began about 11a.m. and expected to end at 3 p.m., Moreno said.
Moreno said there are additional officers at the scene monitoring the demonstration.
Protests in other cities have aimed at a symbol that Sufis consider representative of a snakebite, and thus represents original sin. A Sufi school has used the symbol for 1,400 years, and it is trademarked, the school claims.
The store’s advertisements purportedly are meant to convey lust, they said.
A person inside the store, who decided not to identify herself, said her shop licenses the Roberto Cavalli name and sells its goods, and the supposedly-offensive goods are marketed by “a sister company, ‘Just Cavalli’,” she said.
“We don’t have a Just Cavalli in L.A., and we don’t have anything to do with that sister company,” she said. “So they’re protesting here.”