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Doll promotes Islam?



Published: Sat, October 25, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.
  Cuddle & Coo Doll

Toy tries to indoctrinate children, New Castle critics say

One woman says she won’t let her granddaughter play with the Cuddle & Coo doll.

BY JEANNE STARMACK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — The Cuddle & Coo doll looks sweet and innocent.

At scarcely more than a foot long and with her cherubic infant face, she’s certainly no Bride of Chucky.

But she’s not as harmless as she looks, contend some people who have bought the doll, part of the Little Mommy series from Mattel’s Fisher-Price subsidiary.

The doll is embedded with a recording that is supposed to resemble the babblings of a baby that hasn’t yet learned to talk in sentences.

There is one word it’s supposed to say: “Mama.”

It says that a few times.

There’s something else, though, on the recording that has no business being there, say consumers from throughout the country: the phrase “Islam is the light.”

You can hear it, or something like it, after the last “mama” if you’re really paying attention.

And that’s got people, such as Shirley Sallmen and her daughter Shirley Baird of the New Castle area, upset enough to complain to Mattel.

“I’m scared,” said Baird. “Anybody who takes this lightly, they have no common sense.”

“Ever since 9/11, I don’t trust anyone,” said Sallmen.

Baird — whose 5-year-old granddaughter, Madison Fitzgerald, has been playing with the doll since she got it for her birthday last February — and Sallmen say they are upset enough to want the rest of the country to know about what they believe is a subliminal attempt to indoctrinate children in Islam.

There is no such plot, insists Mattel.

The company prepared a statement for its Web site to deal with the onslaught of complaints and questions. It has this to say about what the doll is really cooing: “[The] dolls feature realistic baby sounds including cooing, giggling, and baby babble with no real sentence structure. 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.”

Sallmen and Baird, though, believe the message was deliberate.

At their home, they played the recording to accompany their point. The voice that utters the phrase, they believe, sounds different from the one that utters “mama” — as if it was added later.

The women said they never caught the phrase before last week, when they saw a television newscast that featured an upset consumer complaining about it.

“We played that baby around here and we never knew it — it’s scary. It’s that subliminal stuff. It’s unnerving,” said Baird.

Baird said she doesn’t believe Mattel is responsible for the message. She believes a rogue employee added it.

Spokeswomen for Fisher-Price couldn’t comment on the recording’s origins. “We have our own audio studios,” said Brenda Andolina. “I’m not sure where that recording was done.”

Spokeswoman Juliette Reashor said there was no one available to talk about where the recording was made and who made it.

At Sallmen and Baird’s home, Madison is no longer allowed to play with her doll.

With a bit of coaching, the child gave her version of what the doll should be saying: “Jesus is the light.”


Comments

1Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

“Jesus is the light.”

Would Mattel get away with sending a doll that says this to an Islamic country ?

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2George412(161 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Mattel didn't encode any such message in the doll (which I checked out yesterday), and anyone who hears one is paranoid and xenophobic, among other things. Ladies, you have far too much time on your hands.

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3The_Turk(8 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Sometimes when our cat meows it sounds like "mama" or "banana". Consquently we'll be sending our cat to college next year.

Fear and hatred is affecting not only what these people not hear, but also what they say and think.

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4Broncoace67(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow, these people are really reaching. Are they seriously allowed to care to be around this child. Granny put away the vodka bottle and join AA

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5CIN(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

You people didnt hear this, I researched this and found a report from wpxi Pittsburgh and heard this for myself. it says "Islam is the light" plain as day. Look it up before you throw people under the bus, or is it that you like that these people are doing this kind of mind game to our children or do you just choose no to see it.

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6The_Turk(8 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

CIN - The question I have is would you have made the same conclusion had you not already had that phrase in your mind? I've heard/seen the videos and to be honest I can't be objective because the seed has been planted in my head. We should all at least acknowledge that much.

Once one person sees Jesus in a peice of burnt toast everyone else in the village exclaims, "Yes, yes...I see it too!"

PS: The velvet picture of Jesus in the background of this family's photo speaks volumes about the source.

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7CIN(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Turk- Just because you are a Jesus hater does not mean that the doll does not say what it says.
What you have to say speaks volumes about why you don't like these people. This is not a Christian Vs. Islam issue, it is an issue of someone pushing a foreign ideology down our throats.
If you want to market it and call it Baby Jehad then do it, but don't try to sneak it in.

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8tam(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

People wake up someone did this for a reason but why.
It's scary.

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9The_Turk(8 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Once again my friend (CIN) you're making foolish assumptions...I was baptized an Orthodox Christian.

If this in approach to promote Islam wouldn't you agree that there would be better modes of delivery?

People also claim that dolls say, "Satan is king" as well as "Islam is the light" which are two contradicatory statements. If somebody put something onto the recording, I'm willing to bet it was not a Muslim, but somebody trying to cause dissenion in a world where there's more than enouch to go around.

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10cambridge(3010 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I think it said "Paul is dead!"

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11CIN(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Turk, Baptized or not you are not looking at the whole story. If you want to destroy this country, and your full frontal assault didnt work, (9-11), then you start your assault from the inside out. What better way to corrupt this country, than to turn our children.
I have never heard a doll say anything about satan, I think you are just trying to muddy the water with so many issues that no one sees the main issue here.
Do you have any understanding of the Islam faith and what they believe and teach? Please inform youself before you respond... Read the Quran, and what it teaches, I have, and its scary.!!!!!

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12tam(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

turk,if your not islamic, you should be. Your a real compliment to their distorted religion, but I will pray for you.

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13isaac45(267 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

paul is alive, ringo is no longer answering fan mail, and these women need to suck it up!

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14tam(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Isaac, you are rude and I guess you have no respect.

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15The_Turk(8 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

If this country is in danger, it's from fantacism, of all varieties, overwhelming our collective common sense.

CIN - How many Islamic countries have you set foot in? How Muslims have you conversed with over tea? It's very easy to hate a group of people, but once you get to know individuals it's a different story.

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16CIN(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

How many? I have been in 4. How about you?

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17tam(4 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

why the change of subject "turk". We are not sitting here hating on islams, we are just stating the obvious truth of what the doll said.
Noone ever said anything about hating the islams or muslims... but nice try!

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18city_dweller(194 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The reason this story is so big is because people are making it big, and The Vindicator went willingly into the fray by putting such a subjective and divisive story on the front page.

Helter Skelter, Black Sabbath, "I buried Paul", sexual messages in The Lion King and Alladin, and dozens of other examples have all been used to scare people about conspiracies to subvert "American values". This doll, assuming it even says something that kinda, sorta, maybe sounds like "Islam is the light," is no different. But the fear, anger, hatred, and conspiracy theories that it causes is how the real damage occurs.

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19ts1227(137 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

If you listen close enough, you can probably pick a lot of things that sound like things out.

I hope the maker of the doll tells the parents that they are crazy and does nothing about it.

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20DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

This whole story is a microcosm of our society.

Deep thoughts with Doctor Gonzo:
- Perhaps the parents or guardians can just take the doll and throw it away if they do not like it. Little Madison will be pi**ed, but little Madison can get another doll and be happy, little Madison is 5 years-old after all.
- Islam may be the light, how do we really know?
- Maybe, just maybe, the desire that Americans have for their fifteen minutes of fame has slightly eroded our civilian landscape.
- Perhaps the turk needs a velvet picture of Jesus in his house.
- All religions are distorted in some way, except for followers of Loompanics, however it is the faith aspect that binds us to them.
- The logic that foresees a potential jihad waged in America led by turban wearing school girls who were awakened by this doll is somewhat skewed.
- I predict at least 5 lawsuits filed against Mattel seeking punitive damages for mental distress.
- Fear and hatred are two of the qualities that launched this nation.
- ts1227 uses too many common nouns and I am confused.
- There were sexual messages in Alladin and The Lion King? I thought those were propaganda films? Heil Disney.

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21ashleya77(3 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I would just like to ask if any of you have children? As for all of you that think as mothers/parents that we should suck it up and deal with it, well your wrong!!!! I dont want my child to have to listen to that, not in anyway. You can hear it loud and clear on that doll, "Islam is the light". I think that they took enough away from us on 9/11 I dont think we shoud give them anymore!!!!

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22city_dweller(194 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Yep, all 1.5 BILLION practicers of Islam had a part in 9-11. That makes perfect sense. Let's condemn a whole religion because of the actions of its worst members. Maybe we should allow the KKK to speak for all Christians.

If you don't want your child to play with this toy because of what you think it might be saying, then don't let your child play with it. End of story. But the idea that this is some subversive move by members of Islam to brainwash American female youth (because heaven forbid a boy pick up a doll in this country)is nothing less than paranoid and xenophobic.

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23Wallabee_Champ(1 comment)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I just want to say I'm a white man, born and raised in the Youngstown area and I'm a Muslim. I cried on September 11th and I hate Osama bin Ladden as much as anyone. I want him dead.

Further, I'm in your community. I'm volunteering working with your children and your neighbors. I'm shopping in your grocery stores and working in your community. I'm doing my best to quietly promote Islam by being the best member of my community I can possibly be. Do you hate me now? Do you wish me dead, blame me for problems in the world? If you met me, would you even know I'm a Muslim? Would you hate me if you met me?

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24docsquale(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I have to agree with DoctorGonzo, america has become a peranoid society based on fear and stereotypes. Over the past few years, i have worked in a predominatly muslim area, and i have seen nothing but good come from the comunity. Yes, there are flaws in certin aspects, but that is part of being human. have we frgotten where the real problems lie.

if memory serves me correctly, wasnt there a certin album when played backwards, stated satan is king. id like to see how they pulled that off.

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25TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

At least the doll is not doing Rap, wearing oversized pants, and donning a baseball cap sideways with the tags still on it.

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26ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Can we all get a grip? This is a ridiculous story to even publish (sorry Vindicator but why?). It harkens back to the 70's when there was supposed to be subliminal messages when albums (I date myself) were played backwards. However, if it does say "Islam is the light" - so what? Could we all engage in some religious studies classes and learn about other non-Christian religions? It would do us all some good to broaden our horizons in this day and age.

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27BradFGrad(2 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Just for your 411 not everyone in this world is looking for 15min of fame these people simply want people to be aware of this doll and if you don't like it then don't talk about it, but the msg is clear and plain as day i have the doll and my child will not play with it and that is my choice. Also if this doll is going to be on the shelf for the public to buy then it should be marketed in such way. I also believe that it should be taken off the shelfs untill new packaging is applyed!!

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28BradFGrad(2 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Wallabee_Champ, this is not about you or your religion It is 2008 and race and religion is nothing it's not an issue unless people make it such! So drop the story! your an american so don't make your self stand out,As something diff !! This is about the DOLL and how it was marketed and if thats what its going to say fine. Go for it, just make people aware of it! The company needs to Step in and fix it's problem!!

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29DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Bad Brad:
Thanks for imputing loads of intellect into your post. Free speech and the First Amendment are ridiculous things aren't they?
People should not feel free to express opinions in public arenas. That's for sure. Grammar and spelling are hideous propositions as well.

Here is some free advice: buyer beware. Take the doll back, demand that you are indemnified for such things, and request it be taken off the shelfs until a "WARNING: GARBLED MESSAGES ABOUT ALLAH MAY BE INTERPRETTED BY PURCHASERS." is applyed.

I will talk about any damn thing I please and I do not appreciate your spellin' ruses. Also, you can't rent videos here anymore.

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Aside: The Lost Patrol's post was A+ material. Truly. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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30ytown9999(55 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

All I want to know is if this doll will behead the gay teletubbie for being homosexual.

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31gracieloo6578(5 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I have a good idea... buy kids dolls and toys that don't "do" or "say" anything.... do you all remember back when you had to use your own imagination with your toys... or are you all young enough to be the generation of only buttons, gadgets, lights and sounds...

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32gracieloo6578(5 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I have a good idea... buy kids dolls and toys that don't "do" or "say" anything.... do you all remember back when you had to use your own imagination with your toys... or are you all young enough to be the generation of only buttons, gadgets, lights and sounds... and then you won't have to worry that it might be telling your kids some crazy "message"

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33ashleya77(3 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

we should be able to buy our kids whatever toy we want to buy them. they should be able to play with cute and cuddle babydolls. Just because a doll is suppose to say Mama doesnt mean that kids have forgotten to use their imagination.

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34DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The last doll I bought just sat there with it's mouth open. I was mislead I suppose...wait.

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35Tomcat(202 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

CIN - I love how you shut the Turk up. That's giving the jerk something to think about. I noticed how he never answered you.

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