A New Jersey Muslim man has invented his religion’s answer to the Elf on a Shelf, but not everyone is happy about it.
Danny Shakoj introduced his invention, Imam Adam, a plush toy and book, earlier this year to help teach children about Muslim traditions and to help deter Islamophobia, he told NorthJersey.com in an interview published on Monday.
“Everywhere, you see different faith books and toys,” the 33-year-old said. “There’s nothing out there for Islam.”
The book follows the journey of Adam, not a particularly traditional Muslim name, as he travels to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for his Hajj, a journey that is one of the five pillars of Islam.
The Imam is dressed in jeans, red sneakers, and a removable backpack.
“Adventures of Imam Adam” features Arabic religious words and a glossary in order to make the book accessible to non-Muslim children, NorthJersey.com reported.
“I’d like people to get a different perspective [on Islam.] … Usually, with younger kids, parents will read to them, so this way both the parents and the kids get the information,” Sakoj said.
The book, which shows Adam interacting with diverse characters, is based on his experiences being from New Jersey, Sakoj said.
“In northern New Jersey, it’s very diverse,” he said. “Diversity is what makes the world exciting.”
Shakoj’s case for creating the toy is that it gives Muslim children a toy and adventure book similar to what Christian and Jewish Children have with “Elf on a Shelf” and “Mench on a Bench.
The toy is perfect if the goal is to show the positive tenets of the Muslim faith and to teach that Islam is a peaceful religion.
But not everyone sees it that way.
In some sects of the Muslim faith having a doll with a face like this is against their religion.
Sunnah is “path/practice” of Qur’an, not something said/done “outside” of it.
— Abdool Kader Sayed (@ak_sayed) July 20, 2017
What da fuck is this ? U should b ashamed
— Hasan Naseem (@hasanptiisb) August 3, 2017
For other Muslims the issue is that the blue-eyed Imam named Adam is far too Western.
i know white/blue eyed imams exist, but also did they white jesus imams 🤔
— rahel aima (@cnqmdi) July 21, 2017
FWIW, as the article mentions, the creator is the son of Russian immigrants and the doll kind of looks like him.
— Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi) July 21, 2017
Others thought it was a fantastic idea.
— Censored News UK (@MyFreedomNews) July 23, 2017
Great gift for every Child 👶
— Sawsan Napso Osman (@NapsoSawsan) July 21, 2017
But many on social media were not happy about the doll, or the inventor’s stated intention of having it be a way to teach non-Muslim children about Islam.
How about a real toy of a Jihadist with a bomb strapped on him. Explaining what Muslims believe about killing the non believers.
— Tom Orr (@TomOrr777) August 3, 2017
Will they create a female stuffed toy that has bruises from the beatings by the male toy? Just keeping it real.
— Dangerous Deplorable (@WesleyTBrown2) August 3, 2017
Muslim doll is missing accessories: Beaten Wife, Sex Goat, Sex Boy, Bomb Vest, Scowl, and string, that when pulled, yells Allahu Ahkbar.
— S_Cooper (@S_Cooper0404) August 3, 2017
What’s Imam Adam’s favorite anti-kafir fatwa?
— Deplorable Taco Bowl (@VerumEstLiberta) August 3, 2017
Why don’t he have a full Hajib doll with chains on it!
— Bugsie (@bugsieramero) August 4, 2017
With a stuffed toy. That should solve Islams terrible reputation. No doubt about it.
— Opinyn (@MyOpinyn) August 3, 2017
— Darlene Plyter (@TexasTeddie) August 3, 2017
There are no Imams named Adam. Hussein yes, Adam no.
— TealTweet ✝️🇺🇸 (@tealtweet) August 3, 2017
What are your thoughts on the new Muslim adventure toy?
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