It's one of those dolls that makes baby noises – you know the ones, they coo, giggle, spout nonsensical words – and it was the way in which a Fisher Price spokesman had to try and refute the claims of promoting Islam that really made me laugh. I'll quote from the Telegraph:
A spokesman for Fisher-Price insisted that the doll was not pushing pro-Islamic messages, adding that the sound some parents were hearing was caused by an accidental distortion of the doll's soundtrack.
"The Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls feature realistic baby sounds including cooing, giggling, and baby babble with no real sentence structure," a spokesman said. "The only scripted word the doll says is 'mama'. There is a sound that may resemble something close to the word 'night', 'right', or 'light'. Because the original soundtrack is compressed into a file that can be played through an inexpensive toy speaker, actual sounds may be imprecise or distorted."
Hilarious. But there's nothing like a doll proselytising for Islam to whip up the xenophobes. As you can see, I first read about this in the Telegraph, but I couldn't write about this without first checking in on the Daily Mail, particularly the comments left by readers. The article headline is "The talking Fisher Price doll that 'preaches pro-Islamic message to toddlers'" (would they have preferred an anti-Islam message?) and here are some of my favourite comments (some from the Sun too):
"It won't be one of the CHRISTmas gift I give to my Granddaughter." (Mail)And my personal favourite . . .
"Another social engineering ploy." (Mail)
"Of course this doll should be removed from all shops! If we, in England, are being forbidden from displaying our own flag at times in case of causing offence, why should this be any different?' (Sun)
"Simple. Don't buy the doll and boycott Fisher price toys. Good advert for them at this time of year though!!" (Mail)
"whats the big fuss the bbc do it [promote Islam] on a daily basis" (Mail)Update: Here's an AP video report on this, and it includes a bit where you can listen to the doll. In fairness it does sound a bit like "Islam is the light"... [Thanks to the reader going by the name of HolyPrepuce! for the link]