'Suicide Bomber' Doll Card Offends and Fails to Be Funny


Birthdays and gag gifts, they’ve become somewhat of a hallmark in the American tradition of celebrating one's year of birth. A company in New Jersey, however, may have taken the caustic card bit way too far. The card in question was on display in a novelty store in Chicago until it sold out, but it's already caused an uproar within the Muslim community of Chicago. The Muslim community of Chicago, however, shouldn't be the only ones upset by this card 

Front of Card:

Inner Text of Card:

The Chicago Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) rightfully has a problem with the card. The executive director Ahmed Rehab told WGN-TV news that the card “basically correlates Muslims and terrorism.” The card is currently on sale nationwide but it was first brought to the attention of CAIR by a woman in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The intention of the card is obviously to offend. The card manufacturer, NobleWorks prides itself on producing funny, naughty, and off-color humor cards.

It isn’t just the content of the card itself that Ahmed Rehab finds offensive. It is the fact that the card seems to be based off of a doll that was specifically created to celebrate Muslim and Arab culture. The doll, named Aamina, was created by a mom who was unable to find any toys for her daughter that promoted her mother tongue of Urdu. Farzana Rahman has since created many other toys that help send positive cultural messages to children. Seeing one's own culture reflected in the toys is an important part of establishing identity. Encouraging all children to play with toys from diverse cultural backgrounds is an important step in promoting racial, ethnic, and cultural awareness. It is difficult to not notice the similarities between the doll on the card and Farzana Rahman’s creation. It’s one of the reasons why the card by NobleWorks is uniquely offensive. 

CAIR explains why, “The notion that a doll, that looks like any other doll that any little girl in the world would play with, can be presented as a terrorist doll simply and only because it is a “Muslim” doll or because it has a “Muslim scarf” on its head is not what defines “funny” for a lot of people, but bigoted, ugly, idiotic, moronic, etc.” 

It is interesting that the card depicts a white child holding the doll while simultaneously giving the impression that the doll is a suicide bomber. This all just furthers the false perception that white people are the primary victims of terrorism or suicide bombings. It also serves the dual purpose of othering those who either play with this doll or identify with the doll. 

The executive director of CAIR doesn’t lack a sense of humor, as the NobleWorks website suggests of anyone who doesn’t find their cards amusing, instead he says the card just isn’t that funny.

“I would urge him to make fun of us, but do it intelligently. Humor ought to have even a minimal amount of intelligence but when it lacks all intelligence and is the same kind of message that you would get out a white supremacist group then, it’s not so funny.”

So what is your take on this card? Let me know by commenting below.