When Bjorn Thorpe bought a toy plane for his 3-year-old nephew for Christmas, he never thought he’d be involved with a religious debacle. However, according to KREM 2, that’s precisely what happened to the Whatcom County, Washington, resident. Thorpe reportedly purchased the toy plane from Amazon, and it was advertised as making “flying sounds.” The toy also boasted a four star rating.
When the toy plane was opened by its 3-year-old recipient and played with for the first time, its new family was in for a surprise. Instead of making the advertised flying sounds Thorpe had been expecting, the toy plane instead played an Islamic prayer.
“We put the batteries in and didn’t get what we expected. I do respect other religions, but it’s not the right situation to have it on a children’s toy.”
According to KREM 2 reports, the authenticity of the Islamic prayer was confirmed by the president of the Islamic Society of Whatcom County, Nadeem Israr. Israr told the media outlet that the sounds played by the toy plane are a prayer said by Muslim travelers during their pilgrimage to Mecca.
“This is a prayer you’re supposed to say when you’re performing Hajj.”
Breibart reports that this family’s experience with the malfunctioning toy plane isn’t unique. Per the toy’s Amazon page, at least several other purchasers recently found themselves dealing with the same toy plane situation. Not surprisingly, some customers, especially those who purchased or received the plane during the Christmas holiday season, were far from pleased or amused by the issue.
“Very loud Middle Eastern chanting and music! It’s weird and scary! This is a very un-American product! I was expecting jet noises, NOT this!”
“Not as advertised. Does not play jet noises. Plays an Arabic chant that is extremely bizarre for a child’s toy.”
Earlier reviews of the toy plane, listed on the online retail supersite as the WolVol Bump & Go Action Electric F16 Military Fighter Jet Aircraft Airplane, indicate that customers who bought the plane last year received a product that made the appropriate sounds and was seemingly well received. It wasn’t until this holiday season that customers started complaining that the toy planes they’d received (some as Christmas gifts) were playing Islamic prayers instead.
— Allum Bokhari (@LibertarianBlue) December 29, 2015
When the toy company responsible for selling the toy was contacted by this family, they placed the blame for the mistake with the toy plane on the shoulders of its manufacturer. According to WolVol, there must have been some kind of mistake during the manufacturing process that resulted in a “bad batch of toys.” The company didn’t go into any detail regarding how “flying sounds” in a toy plane could have mistakenly been swapped out with a well-known Islamic prayer.
The toy plane that mysteriously ended up playing an Islamic prayer comes at a time when Islam has been increasingly prominent in the U.S. media. Following the Paris terrorist attacks by ISIS militants in November, coverage of Islam has been virtually constant and overwhelmingly negative. Islamophobia has increased to the point that U.S. mosques are being attacked and GOP front-runner and 2016 presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been using the idea of keeping Muslim immigrants out of the United States as a campaign platform.
With the news of the toy plane that plays an Islamic just breaking, it remains to be seen how much investigation will go into how and why a sound so obviously incorrect ended up being manufactured into a children’s toy.
Bjorn Thorpe, the Washington buyer of the defective toy plane, reportedly expects that his purchase price will be refunded by Amazon. His plan? To use the refund to purchase a more fitting toy plane for his nephew, because “he just wants a plane.”
Amazon was asked to comment on this toy plane incident, but has declined to do so.
[Image via Shutterstock]