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Priscilla Teegarden didn’t ask for religious advice when she purchased a doll for the great-granddaughter she calls her own — but she got it anyway.
Teegarden, a Lawrenceburg resident, said she can clearly hear the doll, which is supposed to say “mama” and coo, say the phrase “Islam is the light,” and she’s not alone.
A simple search for “Islam is the light” on Google.com brings up hundreds of web pages highlighting the “Little Mommy Cuddle & Coo” doll by Fisher-Price, whose parent company is Mattel.
Teegarden said she purchased the doll at K-Mart on Nov. 4. The doll is motion-sensitive and starts to speak whenever it senses someone coming near.
At the store, Teegarden said she didn’t notice everything the doll was saying, but she thought it was cute and decided to buy it for her great-granddaughter, Madison.
Workers at the store warned her not to buy the doll, she said.
“They said, ‘You don’t want that doll,’” Teegarden said. “And when I asked why not, they said it had subliminal messages.”
However, she decided to buy the doll for two reasons. Curiosity got the best of her (“I wanted to know what it said,” she said.) and her personal religious beliefs.
Teegarden said she was taught in church that when she came across something bad, she should “take it and throw it away” so no one else would be exposed to it.
“This (doll) is one out of the stores that another child won’t get,” she said.
Teegarden said she called Mattel, and the woman she spoke to said it was a mistake and that the doll would not be recalled.
“This is not a mistake,” Teegarden said.
Teegarden made it clear that she wasn’t trying to “stir up trouble” with Muslims.
“That’s their prerogative,” she said. “I just want people to know and not be in the dark like I was.
“I’m a Christian woman, and I’m bringing my daughter up in a Christian home. I’d be horrified if she’d heard that and I didn’t know.”
Mattel announced in a statement Oct. 13 that the doll features 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 world ‘night, right or light.’ ”
However, “to avoid any potential misinterpretation,” that segment of the sound file will be removed in future production, the statement said.
Consumers with questions or concerns regarding any Mattel or Fisher-Price toys are encouraged to call the consumer relations center at 1-800-524-TOYS, the statement said.
Teegarden said she wouldn’t destroy the entire doll, but would find a way to disable it from speaking before Madison is allowed to play with it.
If the doll had been marketed toward a particular audience, it would have been a different story, Teegarden said.
“But the box said it was supposed to say ‘mama,’ ” she said. “Well, it does say ‘mama,’ but it says a lot more.”
E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at firstname.lastname@example.org