Tuesday, 14 October 2008

There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger, says Fisher Price doll

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This has to be the most ridiculous row you're going to hear about this year – a Fisher Price Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo doll (pictured) has been withdrawn from sale in the US, and people over here are calling for it to be banned, because it sounds like it says "Islam is the Light".

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)

"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)
And my personal favourite . . .
"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]


Anonymous said...

Sure, Fisher Price deliberately put a pro-Islam message in this doll. And Po the Teletubby really did say "faggot", and the talking Ariel doll really does say "You're a slut" to little girls. And rock and roll records have Satanic messages when you play them backward, and Jesus appeared in a piece of toast.

Holy Prepuce! said...

I was laughing at people’s suggestibility when I read about this doll, until I listened to this recording in an AP report. I have to admit, it really does sound kind of like “Islam is the light!” Kind of like that cinnamon roll people were praying to a few years back — say what you will, the thing really did look kind of like Mother Theresa.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that when I heard it, it did sound an awful lot like "islam is the light".

But that was after me reading about people complaining it said that, so that's not a fair example. Of course it's gonna sound like it if you're expecting it to.

The entire idea is so absolutely ridiculous. I can (somewhat) understand people getting annoyed at it for "saying" that, but the people accusing Fisher Price of deliberately planting it there have got more than a few screws loose in their head. It's scary that so many people are that.... dense? Best word I can think to use.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the whole story is silly. Having said that I am a little confused since when this story first came out I listened to the audio track for the dolls noises and it didn't sound anything like "Islam is the light". On this report however it does sound like that. Maybe it's just me.

Amaris said...

Well it sounded more like Oh God is the light to me! Just rubbish really, like listening to records played backwards ha!