Sharia Alert from AFP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Move over Barbie, veiled is beautiful. The physical ideal of Muslim girls increasingly includes the hijab, as evidenced by toy shops’ best-selling doll “Fulla” and the string of showbiz stars opting to cover up.
The dark-eyed and olive-skinned Fulla has replaced her American rival’s skimpy skirts with more modest “outdoor fashion” and Barbie’s luxuriant blonde mane with an Islamic veil.
“Fulla sells better because it is closer to our Arab values: she never reveals a leg or an arm,” says Tarek Mohammed, chief salesman at a Toys’R’Us branch in Mohandessin, one of Cairo’s more upmarket neighbourhoods.
The Arab answer to Barbie has been selling like hot cakes for Eid Al-Adha, the most important holiday in the Muslim calendar, not least because it is cheaper than its American rival, although both are made in China.
Fulla is not the first Islamic doll but none of her predecessors have taken the regional market by storm like she has, selling some two million since its creation two years ago by the Emirates-based NewBoy Design Studio.
Saudi Arabia’s religious police had then just banned “Barbie the Jewish doll“, whose “revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West.”…
Fulla also has two female friends, Yasmine and Nada, with lighter hair.
But she is still single as no plans appear to be afoot for marketing an Islamic equivalent of Ken, as giving her a boyfriend would be seen inappropriate in conservative Muslim cultures.
But a mass marketing campaign, including TV commercials and dozens of by-products ranging from cereals to school stationery, is not the only reason for Fulla’s ever-growing popularity.
The sartorial evolution of little Muslim girls’ toy dolls mirrors a broader phenomenon of Islamisation in Arab culture and society, which is no longer incompatible with hip and glamour.