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Greeting card turns veiled Muslim doll into terrorist doll

By       Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali     Permalink
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In the latest sign of rising Islamophobia in the country, the seven-million strong American Muslim community was shocked at the fabrication of a birthday card that depicts a veiled girl doll as a suicide bomber who'll "Blow Your Brains Out."

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 unmistakable message behind the "humor" is that   even the most peaceful looking Muslims are synonymous and exchangeable with terrorists," according to Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The controversial card was available until it sold out Friday at a Chicago card and novelties store.

The store's owner credited the Boston Marathon bombing for boosting sales and said Saturday he plans to reorder the $2.95 suicide bomber card "because they're selling well."

The controversial card is based on an actual doll designed by Desi Doll Company called "Aamina, the Muslim Doll."

The doll teaches kids religious greetings and sayings in Arabic and Urdu with messages like "Assalamu Alaikum"   (the Muslim greeting that means peace be upon you) and "Let's play together insha'Allah," (meaning if God wills it.)

The doll was the brainchild of an entrepreneurial mother of three in the hopes of better teaching her kids Urdu and Arabic

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"The joke is that if you wear a hijab, you're a terrorist -- it's that primitive," said Ahmed Rehab. "It's an ugly stereotype. Muslim women who wear the hijab face dirty looks, catcalls and even abuse -- and it's connected to irresponsible "jokes' like this."

In an op-ed for The Chicago Monitor, Rehab wrote that the mother of three who founded Desi Doll Co. probably would never imagine her "laudable endeavor could be twisted into such a bigoted excuse from humor to by another entrepreneur who does not seem as concerned with the message he would be conveying to his own children."

"Islamophobic generalizations and negative stereotypes often hit those who are most visibly perceived as Muslim, and women wearing the Hijab are often the group hit the hardest," he said.

Noble Works publisher Ron Kafi, who claims to have created the bomber doll card, says on the company website that "Political humor, religion and current events are among the themes to which NobleWorks gives a sick, provocative and sometimes controversial spin."

Also on the NobleWorks website is a personal message from Ron Kanfi. "I can only imagine folks and friends,' writes Kanfi, "who receive or read our cards, can help but wonder as to whether laughing is the appropriate thing to do. But as our motto goes: "F**k 'em if they can't take a joke!"'

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Sun Times quoted the Chicago store selling the controversial card as saying that "This isn't Hallmark -- we're not a politically correct store." He would not give his name. He said he doesn't see anything wrong with offering "dark humor" that presents "commentary on what is happening in the world today."

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 the US is on the rise.

 

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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