Saudis Demand McDonald’s Be Punished For Happy Meal Toy

Via Sancte Pater comes this from Inquisitr:

(The Inquisitr) The people of Saudi Arabia are furious with the McDonald’s fast food chain for a toy which they say desecrates the name of Muhammed, the prophet of Islam. They are demanding retribution.

According to the Arabic news website,,

“[the McDonald’s fast food restaurant] abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.’”

The toy is a blue super hero on a blue base.  The toy looks like a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger samurai warrior. The toy stand on one of its legs and the other leg hangs over the side of the base.  When a lever is pressed the toy’s other leg smahes against the base of the toy in a stomping motion.

The Saudis are claiming that the base of the toy, where it stomps its foot, is covered with the name Muhammed.  They claim the name is written several times in circles all over the base so every time it stomps it is stomping on Muhammed.

The toy had been distributed for several days and until today no one had noticed the name written on the base of the toy.  After its discovery by Saudi Muslim authorities they lunched several campaigns against the restaurant “in response to the savage attacks on the noble prophet”.  The campaigns were called “Help your Prophet” and “Together in support of the Prophet.”

In response, “Saudi McDonald’s” has taken the toy out of circulation at all of its restaurants stating it was important, “to safeguard against any accusations or misunderstandings.”

People can be legitimately angry at true religious insults. But…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. APX says:

    The campaigns were called[..] “Together in support of the Prophet.

    An affiliate of Together In Action??

    Sometimes I think people go searching for things to be offended about…

  2. disco says:

    Well if the Saudis hate McDonald’s then order me up a couple quarter pounders.

  3. eulogos says:

    I can’t tell from the story-does it really say Mohammed around the base of the toy? The circles you put on the picture seem to show figures, maybe animals? I don’t see any letters. I am a bit confused.

    Susan Peterson

  4. AnAmericanMother says:

    They see the name of Mahomet everywhere the same way the credulous see Jesus on a highway overpass or the Virgin Mary on a slice of toast.

  5. acardnal says:

    At least McDonald’s didn’t offer the “McRib” sandwich.

  6. digdigby says:

    Which reminds me. Aren’t you a LITTLE sick of every news story in the West that reverently refers to that Arch-heretic, liar, pederast and murderous brigand as ‘The Prophet Muhammad’. I don’t notice them saying ‘the Prophet Moses’.

  7. Andy Lucy says:

    @acardnal: “At least McDonald’s didn’t offer the “McRib” sandwich.”

    Not only would that be “in bad taste,” it also violates several of the Hague Conventions regarding the use of biological weapons on civilian populations. I understand the concept of collateral damage… but there are limits. There are limits. ;^)

  8. BillyHW says:

    The way they behave vis-a-vis the ‘prophet’ Mohammed amounts to idolatry.

  9. petrus69 says:

    Oh Lord! take me now!!!!

  10. lizaanne says:

    They clearly do not have enough to worry about, what with Muslims murdering Christians, plotting to blow up Americans (if they catch a few random Muslims in the process, oh well), and just all around spreading of scary crap in general via the Koran. Let’s pick on McD’s – THAT will fix the problems of Islam’s PR issues!!


  11. ghp95134 says:

    Knittycat, what’s wrong with saying “guts” instead of using the other anatomical reference for courage? Do people really talk like that today and not associate the word with the body part? Am I too old to be talking to younger people anymore??? My same comment applies to those who think using the Spanish word (usually mispelled translating to “drawers” or “rabbit”) is acceptable.

    Fr.Z … can you edit?


  12. Kathleen10 says:

    I predict much groveling and shivering on the part of McDonalds.

    This is actually pretty funny, but somebody’s heads gonna roll, let’s hope not literally! Watch for the usual hysterical over-reaction.

  13. AnnAsher says:

    Hypersensitivity abounds.

  14. Johnno says:

    I don’t see anything… looks like maybe some poorly Power Rangers Lightning Bolt symbol that they’re mistaking for the Arabic spelling of Mohammed?

    Well maybe this will at least get McDonalds to up the quality of the cheap toys they produce…

  15. Philangelus says:

    Actually, if it really does say Mohammad around the base of the toy, then of course they should be upset, the same way we’d be upset if it said Jesus around the base of the toy. No, Mohammad isn’t God, but he’s still very important in Islam and of course the Muslim community is going to respect him.

    I can’t read Arabic and so can’t tell what that actually says around the base, but if it says Mohammad, then McDonalds needs to apologize in a big way. We want non-Catholics to respect Catholicism, so why shouldn’t non-Muslims accord Islam the same respect we expect for ourselves?

  16. Mrs. O says:

    None of the pictures could I see clearly the symbols but I’ll take their word for it. Fire the designer who thought cool to include Mohammad without thinking it through. I hope they can cool down enough to something serious.

  17. AnAmericanMother says:

    They’re taking advantage of your charity and your belief that they are rational human beings. And laughing at you while they prepare you for dhimmitude.
    They made the whole thing up. Those are lightning bolts that have been associated with Power Rangers since my kids had the silly things.
    Don’t get sucked into their idiotic rantings and ravings.

  18. pfreddys says:

    Yes, but would that Catholics have the militancy about the real things that are happening to us!

  19. EXCHIEF says:

    Don’t worry. McDonalds is a U S corporation. The Muslim in Chief who of course bowed to the Saudi king will bring all sorts of sanctions against Mickey D’s. We can’t have the “brothers” treated that way….woops, my bad. The we can’t have our brothers treted that way was Holder’s line re the New Black Panthers. Sheez!

  20. jflare says:

    I find I’m fairly unsure of how to respond to something like this. If I blow it off, I’m prone to be unconcerned about something that could be important. If I take it seriously, I’m prone to be overly worried about something that makes little difference. ..And of course, if they’d used something sacred to Christians, Catholics in particular, I’m not entirely sure they’d care..

    I’m inclined to say “Sheesh”, but I recall the uproar when an English professor dared to try to make a point. Said professor, father of a mixed-race student, no less–dared to use the word “nigga” (not ‘nigger”) in a poem that referred to about 6 different groups of oppressed people. Even though the campus administration openly offered an “intercultural communications” course that stated explicitly from the beginning the course “might make us uncomfortable”, our wonderful administration ultimately bowed to the wishes of an enraged African-American presence and dismissed said professor.

    I never did recover any semblance of real respect for the university, but they never seemed terribly concerned about offending white folks or America. Those concerns that I actually believe in have never mattered.

    So..I’m back to the original problem: If I don’t object about something as inane as this, will someone take me seriously if I DO object?

  21. jflare says:

    BTW, looking at the close-up that AnAmericanMother provided, I can’t see anything that looks like lettering. *coughs* Whatever that’s intended to be in those circles, it actually looks like a squiggle of some kind that, to me, more closely resembles the island of Japan that it does anything else.
    If it’s supposed to be writing, in Farsi or anything else, it’s pretty tough to read.

  22. Rachel Pineda says:

    It really does say Mohammed (???? ) in a loose calligraphy and handwriting style but, I wouldn’t say McDonald’s even knew this. Besides, what are Muslims doing eating at McDonald’s? Maybe they avoid eating the meat, it is not “halal”.
    This is not something to get worked up over, I think they were supposed to be the lighting bolts An American Mother was talking about.

  23. BillyHW says:

    “Actually, if it really does say Mohammad around the base of the toy, then of course they should be upset, the same way we’d be upset if it said Jesus around the base of the toy. No, Mohammad isn’t God, but he’s still very important in Islam and of course the Muslim community is going to respect him.

    I can’t read Arabic and so can’t tell what that actually says around the base, but if it says Mohammad, then McDonalds needs to apologize in a big way. We want non-Catholics to respect Catholicism, so why shouldn’t non-Muslims accord Islam the same respect we expect for ourselves?”

    Surely you jest.

  24. rcg says:

    Several have noted the begged question: Is there actually an inscription on the base of the toy? But of course the story is that, inscription or not, action must be taken under threat of violence if even an accusation is made. FWIW, accusations of this nature are often made by competitors to hurt another company or someone. There is no real investigation, the offensive item is removed lest anyone even look to see if it is there. After the Indian Ocean tsunami of Christmas a few years back, a satellite photo showed the name “ALLAH” to some eyes in a coastal swirl of muddy water off the coast. One wonders Who was responsible for its eventual obliteration by the waves and tides. This is important for us to contemplate, as Catholics. I, as no doubt all here, have been asked why we pray to statues, worship Mary, etc. Superstition infects man, as a virus, latent and waiting for the proper moment to spread. We are fortunate that in modern times the population is sensitive to it, but they can easily misinterpret what we do for superstition. Understanding and addressing it thoughtfully is a strong tool for spreading Truth to both the secular and Muslim worlds, much as an inoculation against a common germ.

  25. Joe in Canada says:

    I agree with Philangelus. While Nostra aetate doesn’t name Mohammed, it does say that the Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. It goes on to say “Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.”
    While I myself don’t particularly understand how this can be in an absolute sense, since it seems to me that the bases for the founding of this religion cannot have been the action of God, I accept this teaching with religious obedience.

  26. irishgirl says:

    I didn’t even know that McDonald’s had restaurants in Saudi Arabia. This is the first I’ve heard about it.
    That being said, I agree with AnnAsher: ‘Hypersensitivity abounds’.

  27. MyBrokenFiat says:

    That link contains what the name looks like in Thuluth. It was the closest version I could find that matched the McDonald’s toy.

    The other calligraphy versions look NOTHING like the image on the toy, but I admit they could make a case from version above. And to be fair, this is the particular “version” of font used on the Saudi Arabian flag, which would lead me to believe it is in regular use over there.

    Hope that helps some who have asked. Tried to save Fr. Z some Google trouble. ;)

  28. chcrix says:

    Certainly hypersensitivity abounds – and not just in Saudi Arabia.

    Secondly, who knows if the squiggle at the base really means Muhammad? Maybe it does, and maybe you need a pair of reading glasses the thickness of the bottom of a coke bottle to see it that way.

    Thirdly, before us murricans get up on our high horses about this absurdity, don’t forget the ‘satanic’ Procter & Gamble logo business. Mote and Beam you know?

  29. SKAY says:

    I read in another article about this subject that these figures were made in China. Shouldn’t the Saudis demand that China give an apology also?

    Rachel says that it does say Mohammed in a loose calligraphy and handwriting style – so gee—maybe China did it on purpose. Perhaps the Saudis are going after the wrong infidels.

    Just saying……

  30. Luke Whittaker says:

    Why don’t they just rise up and start their “holy” war now so we can get on with the end of the world.

  31. Sissy says:

    “Why don’t they just rise up and start their “holy” war now so we can get on with the end of the world.”

    I thought they already had.

  32. Luke Whittaker says:

    “I thought they already had.”

    True. I had in mind, in particular, however, the manner of war to which the late Archbishop Fulton J Sheen of venerable mention referred to such a war that would bring about the end of the world. Admittedly, this is a matter of personal opinion not based on any specific scholarship on the matter and is slanted as a result of my unique experience of life: not quite sarcasm and yet not totally appropriate either.

    The major point being that if their anger knows no boundary because they find justification in their faith then let’s get on with the real destruction that anger craves rather than being up in arms about something minor, which, by the way, is nearly unbelievable when so many men who represent their religion kill innocent human lives. Which has more value: the name of a deceased “prophet”, or the lives of the men, women and children whom they snuff out in their rage? This McDonald’s thing is laughable in the face of such evil.

  33. MyBrokenFiat says:

    K, this was too interesting for me to leave alone.

    I did a side-by-side comparison of the toy, the lightning bolt from Power Rangers, and the calligraphy.

    I came to an altogether different conclusion. Doesn’t seem to be Muhammad’s name at all, but I guess I can understand why they’d rally around that than the real name it seems to represent – Allah.

  34. Maltese says:

    @Luke, with all respect, most Muslims just want to raise their babies, rise in the morning to a new sun, and get on with their lives.

  35. Supertradmum says:

    I saw this earlier on jihadwatch. The entire episode is ridiculous. Mohammed was a man, not God. And, the markings are not Arabic, but part of the lightening.

    Remember, one can always insult these people because they want to be insulted in order to become privileged They play the victim game with great success. And, first a toy, then something else……

  36. chcrix says:

    As Arte Johnson used to say: Veery Interesting MBFiat.

    I have to admit that the Power rangers never interested me. That said, it would seem a bit of arabic writing can’t possibly be native to the power rangers franchise.

    If it really is a proper rendition of the name of Allah, what would it take to get that rendition into the toy design spec before it was sent to the Chinese manufacturer of said toy? (You know that it has to be made in China like all the other plastic junk.) Certainly, the Chinese would be unlikely to question the design.

    If it really is a proper rendition of the name of Allah, it could be a deliberate prank.

  37. Supertradmum says:

    By the way, on Syrian television this evening, suicide bombers are being auctioned off to the highest bidder. From RT. First toys, then bidding for bombers, all irrational activities.

  38. MyBrokenFiat says:


    Normally I back everything say 100%. LoL. However, I differ on the point of it being indicative of lightning. The Power Rangers symbol looks nothing like the squiggle on the toy.

    I’m curious to know what in the world the makers thought they were doing with this one, because really it makes no sense to have this thing on there without serving some sort of purpose. Lightning it is not, Muhammad’s name it is not. Allah, on the other hand? Argument can definitely be made for that.

  39. Supertradmum says:

    PS the auction on tv was in Saudi Arabia and the father was auctioning his son. A million and a half was raised. Maybe the Power Ranger toy radicalized the dad and his son….

  40. Knittycat says:

    “Hypersensitivity abounds.”


  41. Knittycat says:

    The aforementioned multibillion dollar rapid gustatory restaurant named, rather racistly, for it’s inexpensive fare referring to the supposed cheapness of a certain Celtic race, whilst also providing food of dubious quality, lacks, in toto the intestinal fortitude and necessary reproductive accoutrements (which through out history are often associated with the virtues of courage and bravery) required for the intentional and willful offense of the decidedly hard line muhamedon bent whom feel the need to take offense and declare oppression at the slightest provocation or opportunity.

    vague enough for you?

  42. Rachel Pineda says:

    Hi ,
    I saw the link to a blog that says the wrong name.
    The name is definitely not “Allah” in “tuluth”, it is barely Mohammed, but it really does look like it to the people in Saudi Arabia because this is a common print of his name. I would post a picture but I do not know how. The internet is sometimes a bad place to get the facts. ( Actually maybe most of the time) Here is something you might find interesting, you can write the names in”tuluth” and other calligraphy styles although keep in mind, just as we have many different fonts, so does Arabic. Here is the website, which had only four styles, tuluth being one of them:

    If you do write Mohammed in the calligraphy generator on the website you will have to write it as MHMD, leaving out all of the vowels because vowels are accent marks in Arabic. If you write Allah, you have to write it ALLLA, with 3 L’s because the L is stressed in His name. Do not forget our Eastern catholic brothers and sisters use the name Allah.

    All in all, even though the name does look like the name Mohammed, I still would like to know what the Saudi people want as a punishment. As far as I know, you can still get our hand cut off in that country after the 3rd offense of theft.

  43. MyBrokenFiat says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I’m the one who wrote the blog you’re referring to. I appreciate the clarification (as I said, conjecture on my part as I’m no expert).

    However, I’m still a little foggy. I looked up both “Thuluth” and “Tuluth” and both seem to be the exact same thing (just a different way to spell / pronunciate). Is that correct? If that’s correct, then there’s no accounting for a difference in font (as could possibly be the case).

    I’m trying to figure it out because I looked up several sources on this, and all seem to agree with the script that I came up with as pointing to Muhammad and Allah. Obviously you’re more versed in this than I. I am aware that things can spread like wild-fire incorrectly on the internet, but I’m really trying to understand this better. So if you could explain it a little more, I’d be so appreciative. :)

    Feel free to PM me if you so wish!

  44. Luke Whittaker says:

    @ Maltese, with all respect, I believe you but I beg to differ on the basis of catechesis. Islam is not a religion of peace even if many submitters are peaceful. I posit that Islam has just as much trouble with catechesis as the Catholic Church does. If more submitters knew the theology of Islam they would leave that faith just as more Catholics knowing their faith would have kept Obama out of office. In other words, regarding Islam, many muslims are good people in spite of their faith not because of it.

  45. Hidden One says:

    Notwithstanding my understanding of Muhammad as a Catholic, I think that IF it really does say Muhammad THEN the Muslims have good reason to be upset and McDonald’s had good reason to pull the toy. Needless maltreatment of something others hold as of great value does not strike me either as charitable or as prudent. (In this case, if what is written really is Muhammad, I strongly suspect that it’s an accident – a reasonably serious one, however.)

    If I may draw a comparison, I, for one, would not appreciate the Most Holy Name of Jesus being found where it has been reported that Muhammad’s name has been placed. Centuries ago in Japan certain cunning rulers had their people tread on holy images and suchlike so as to cause either apostasy or exposure of their hidden Catholic populations. Many Japanese Christians died martyrs because of their refusal. A toy that in an important respect mimicked the act the refusal of which led to a great number of martyrdoms is not one I would take lately, and neither should you, fellow Catholics.

    It really does seem to me that if the toy had, for example, the IHS monogram in place of what may be the name of Muhammad and was released in the West, the tenor of some of the comments in this combox up to this point would be quite different.

  46. The Cobbler says:

    Personally, I can’t see anyone writing the name of Jesus by accident… something to do with us not using nondescript squiggles for text, let alone holy text. About the one simple symbol we have is the Cross, and we don’t pretend the letter T in writing represents it even though it does more or less match the shape because we know that this is a coincidence owing to the mutual simplicity of the Cross and the T. I don’t think anyone is particularly credible who doesn’t get that. If some crank tomorrow claimed that God had shown Himself to him and that God looked like the letter W, nobody in their right mind would expect the rest of the world to quit writing the letter W. Or even if, in a burst of anti-intellectualism uncharacteristic of the Church’s historic stance, the Pope solemnly declared that a cloud of scribble shall be a symbol for God, nobody worth taking seriously would suggest that children never be given crayons lest they blasphemously scribble. The Arabs are welcome to their more fluid style of writing, but Muslims, at least those of any intelligence worth worrying about, cannot pretend that because they picked a simple squiggle for the name of their prophet that therefore random squiggles that happen to resemble it need to be treated with the reverence due a prophet’s name.

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