- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
BY TINA MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
A ceramic bobblehead doll of the Prophet Muhammed - created to resemble the infamous caricature published by a Danish newspaper - is being hawked online for $22.99 a pop by an ex-Marine.
The unapologetic creator, Timothy Ames, 28, said the bobblehead is similar to "dashboard Jesus" figurines that can be stuck with adhesive to flat surfaces. "I thought, 'If they flipped out over some cartoons what will they do with a dashboard Muhammed?'" Ames said from his home in Hawaii.
But Islamic experts are not amused, saying the bobbleheads could anger Muslims, whose religion strictly prohibits depictions of the prophet.
"No depiction of the prophet, even if it is positive, should be made ever - and certainly not one as ridiculous as the bobblehead Muhammed," said Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, an assistant professor at New York University. "I don't think it's about freedom of speech. This is the freedom to insult, which he shouldn't be doing."
Ames said several hundred people have purchased the dolls online, and he has paid a Chinese manufacturer to create 1,000 more. "I just think it's funny," he said.
Violent protests erupted last winter across the Muslim world after a Danish newspaper published cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammed as a suicide bomber. Many European papers reprinted the cartoons.
"People who get p----d off about this, they're going to get p----d off regardless," Ames, a baptized Christian, said.
The sophomoric Web site where Ames, using the pen name "Filthy," sells the bobbleheads also features a collection of scattered rants. In one, he writes: "I'm really not into slamming people just for their religion. Most of the stupid people I've met are stupid despite their religion, not because of it."
Frank Peters, a professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at NYU, warned that a bobblehead Muhammed was "a really bad idea."
"Jews and Christians have gotten used to this kind of thing, but Muslims haven't," he said. "This may not be his intention, but these things have consequences."
Originally published on October 1, 2006