This Innocent Looking Children’s Toy Contains Hidden Islamic Message
When a 3-year-old in Washington State opened his Christmas present, he found exactly what he wanted – almost.
His uncle, Bjorn Thorpe, had listened when the little boy said he wanted a toy plane, but the Amazon.com item came with a surprise for the entire family.
Instead of making the loud airplane noise every little boy dreams of and every parent dreads, the sound effect sounded like Arabic chanting, according to the boy’s family.
“We put the batteries in and didn't get what we expected,” said Thorpe, about the toy plane he ordered through Amazon.
The chanting was, in fact, an Islamic prayer that is used when Muslims are performing Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of devout faithful.
Nadeem Israr, president of the Islamic Society of Whatcom County, identified the chant and said, “It’s very wrong. It’s very, very wrong,” when asked about the toy, although whether he was referring to the prayer being built into a child’s toy or because of a perceived sacrilege was unclear.
The boy's uncle said, “I do respect other religions, but it's not the right situation to have it on a children's toy,” adding that he hopes to receive a refund from Amazon.
Amazon blamed the Chinese manufacturer for “shipping a bad batch of toys,” although neither Amazon, nor the Chinese manufacturer, WolVol, has addressed the larger concern of why such a chant would be included in a toy of any kind, least of all a jet plane, in such dangerous times.
The online shopping giant claims the toy is no longer advertised, but it does, in fact, appear on the site along with customer reviews, many of which complain about the Islamic chanting.
Wrote one upset customer, “Very loud Middle Eastern chanting and music! It’s weird and scary! This is a very un-American product! I was expecting jet noises, NOT this!”
Another complained, “Someone I know has a child who got this plane as a gift and it plays some weird middle-eastern chanting noise. THAT is crazy and the company needs to look into this issue.”
Giving the product a one-star rating, a customer wrote, “Not as advertised. Does not play jet noises. Plays an Arabic chant that is extremely bizarre for a child’s toy.”
More than one customer, however, tried to see some humor in the situation by giving the product a four-star review, writing with heavy sarcasm, “I have been wanting to convert my 3 year old son to Islam for a long time and haven’t been able to motivate him to do so. This toy is great it lights up, has a prayer from the Qur’an in Arabic and fun for the whole family! Thanks for reading and allahu akbar!”
Meanwhile, Bjorn Thorpe knows what he is looking for to replace the toy for his nephew. “He just wants a plane.”