BEVERLY HILLS ( — A couple hundred people belonging to an Islamic sect protested Saturday outside a luxury clothing store on Rodeo Drive, saying they’re offended Roverto Cavalli is using a religious symbol in their ads.

The rally began at 11 a.m. in the 300 block of North Rodeo Dr. and demonstrators brought signs denouncing the ads, some of which they say are sexually risque.

Protests in other cities have taken issue with the company using a symbol that Sufis consider representative of a snakebite, and thus, original sin. A Sufi school has used the symbol for 1,400 years and claims it’s trademarked.

A person inside the store, who asked not to be identified, said her shop licenses the Roberto Cavalli name and sells its goods. She says the supposedly-offensive goods are marketed by a Cavalli “sister company,” Just Cavalli.

“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.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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