Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 2013-05-06
A Muslim veiled doll with a message equating Muslims with terrorists and extremists has outraged the Muslim community in the United States.
The controversy started after a Muslim activist spotted a greeting card in a local store in Chicago. Featuring a photo of a Muslim doll with a Hijab, the talking bubbles placed on top of the doll’s photo read, “The Talking Doll, Pull string for message, if you dare,” and “She’ll Love You To Death! She’ll Blow Your Brains Out!” The inside of the card reads “Hope your birthday is a BLOW OUT!”
The card is based on an actual doll designed by Desi Doll Company called “Aamina, the Muslim Doll.”
In an article published by the Chicago Monitor, Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) writes, “Nothing identifies this doll as a terrorist in the minds of the card designers other than that she wears a Hijab.
“Moreover, she is a smiling, non-threatening normal-looking female wearing a pink Hijab and a flower-patterned dress. The unmistakable message behind the humor” is that even the most peaceful looking Muslims are synonymous and exchangeable with terrorists,” said Rehab.
Rehab wrote that producing the card, NobleWorks Inc. became the first company to profit from this blatant stereotyping. “There are those who will claim Muslims do not have a sense of humor. But one would like to think humor comes with (even a minimal degree of) intelligence,” he said,
“The notion that a doll, that looks like any other doll that any little girl in the world would play with, can be presented as a terrorist doll simply and only because it is a “Muslim” doll or because it has a “Muslim scarf” on its head is not what defines “funny” for a lot of people, but bigoted, ugly, idiotic, moronic, etc.,” he added.
Since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, many Muslims have complained of facing discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities. A recent report by the umbrella Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has found that Islamophobia in is on the rise in America.
The doll was the brainchild of an entrepreneurial mother of three in the hopes of better teaching her kids Urdu and Arabic. It teaches kids religious greetings and sayings in Arabic with messages like the Muslim greeting “Assalamu Alaikum, (peace be upon you) and “Let’s play together insha’Allah, (if God wills it).