A New Jersey Muslim has gone on a bit of a crusade to paint Islam as a religion of peace to the country’s youngest and most pliable — the children — and created a stuffed toy and book aimed at warding off Islamophobia.
Problem is: the premise is rooted in deception.
Speaking truthfully of the nature of Islam and the evils of sharia and the prevalence of Muslims who turn to a life of terrorism — over, say, the number of Christians or Jews who opt for that same way of living — is not Islamophobia. It’s speaking truthfully.
But author Danny Shakoj has a different take, put forth in his Imam Adam book and plush toy.
With the coming Hajj season, author Danny Shakoj wants to introduce families to Imam Adam.
“Everywhere, you see different faith books and toys. There’s nothing out there for Islam,” said the book’s author, Shakoj, of Haledon.
Earlier this year he debuted his plush toy and book set to remedy the lack of products as well as help deter Islamophobia.
“Adventures of Imam Adam” was influenced by figurine-and-book combinations “Elf on the Shelf” and “Mensch on a Bench,” which respectively correspond to Christmas and Hanukkah.
The story follows Imam Adam, who packs his backpack to perform Hajj — a faith-renewing pilgrimage and one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith….
Included in the set is the hardcover book and a 12-inch plush figurine of Imam Adam dressed for adventure in jeans, red basketball shoes and a removable backpack with a prayer mat inside.
On his journey, the smiling imam breaks fast with friends, pauses for prayer and shares with those in need, highlighting each of the other four pillars of Islam— faith, prayer, charity and fasting.
But how about a book that shows the deeper and darker side of Islam — the one that’s spread through violent take-over?
Sugar-coating the truths of Islam to children is not a commendable undertaking.
As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch writes:
Danny Shakoj seems like a friendly fellow. All his good intentions to deter “Islamophobia” by means of this affable Imam Adam, however, are unfortunately doomed to fail. If anyone is suspicious of Islam, it is not because there are no children’s books featuring happy imams going about doing good deeds (like what imam in real life?). It is because of Muslims such as Osama bin Laden, Nidal Malik Hasan, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and so very many other Islamic jihadists. People who are aware that there is a problem with violence incited by the Qur’an and Sunnah are not going to be deterred from that awareness by the appearance of a plush toy.
You can’t simply whisk away the dangers of Islam with plush playthings.