The national grocery chain Whole Foods is in the middle of a whole lot of controversy for directing a marketing campaign at Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan — and then taking it back.

On July 27, food writer Yvonne Mafei wrote about celebrating Ramadan on the Whole Foods company blog The Whole Story.

“Ramadan is fast approaching, and I’m getting my kitchen ready for a month of celebration with my family and community,” Mafei wrote. “In case you’re not familiar with Ramadan, it is an incredibly important holy month for Muslims. For us, it is a time of reflection — a time to develop compassion for those who live with hunger and thirst as a way of life, and to do something to help them.”

The post was accompanied by a promotion announcing a gift card giveaway during the Muslim holy month and directed customers to try a new line of halal-certified products called Saffron Road.

But within days anti-Muslim bloggers like Debbie Schlussel made it clear that they did not appreciate a major national retail chain embracing the Muslim holy month and accused the company of “Islamo-pandering” and being a “shill for jihadist interests.”

It all might have ended there if it weren’t for an internal Whole Foods email obtained by the Houston Press that suggested that after the negative reaction from conservatives, some Whole Foods stores would now downplay any mention of Ramadan.

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