I am a Buzz Agent. If you don’t know what that means, I’ll tell you…just so I’ve disclosed how I came across this toy. Buzz Agent is this organization that uses word of mouth advertising to get the ‘Buzz’ about their product out in social media. We are often sent the items or coupon vouchers to get the items for free, we try out the item and then we post product reviews and comments on the Buzz Agent website, our Twitter Feed….sometimes Facebook and some even blog about it. I choose not to talk about my buzzing here because it rarely has anything to do with My Islamic Life…it’s just life stuff.
I was on my newsfeed and saw this post.
As I watched it, my skin began to crawl. Then I got pissed. I’m so mad! How dare that toy company take something from Islam and use it as a basis for a creepy, evil looking toy!? With a smarmy evil, bad-guy voice? I posted a link to it on my facebook page. Then I shared it on my facebook wall…and then I tweeted about it.
Now, I need to share more. I want to throw around words like Misappropriation and Islamophobia and Orientaism….and UGH. This is such a sneaky, underhanded way to wheedle their way in through the subconscious of small children putting in the seed of Evil and equating it to Islamic teachings.
After watching this video, I went to the Hasbro website. This toy is being marketed to children ages 6 and up. It is called The Magic Jinn. Its a take off from the Magic 8 Ball. You are supposed to answer questions and it guesses the animal you are thinking about. People are reviewing it on Amazon, some saying it is cute and fun, others saying it has a creepy voice. I can’t understand how no one else has caught on to this blatantly glaring attempt to perpetrate the story that everything in Islam is evil.
For your convenience, I’ve put here definitions of the words. Please feel free to go and look about for other definitions.
Jinn (or Djinn) – The jinn (Arabic: الجن al-jinn, singular الجني al-jinnī; also spelled djinn), or genies, are spiritual creatures mentioned in the Qur’an and other Islamic texts who inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. Together, the jinn, humans and angels make up the three sapientcreations of God. The Qur’an mentions that the jinn are made of a smokeless and “scorching fire”, but also physical in nature, being able to interact physically with people and objects and likewise be acted upon.[clarification needed] Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent and hence have freewill like humans and unlike angels. The jinn are mentioned frequently in the Qurʾan, and the 72nd surah is titled Sūrat al-Jinn. (I used the Wiki definition because it was the most concise, well written, accessible one.)
Misappropriation – “To put to a wrong use” (Dictionary.com)
Islamophobia – “Islam is seen as separate and ‘other’.” ” Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.” (Islamophobia-watch.com)
Orientalism – “Orientalism” is a way of seeing that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of Arab peoples and cultures as compared to that of Europe and the U.S.” (arabstereotypes.org)