Just what every child wants: a faceless doll

I saw this horror via Tehmina Kazi on Facebook. A faceless “Deeni doll” is now on the shelves.

A new faceless doll, produced in accordance with Islamic law, has been launched in Britain.

The ‘Deeni Doll’, which is adorned with a traditional hijab headdress, has no nose, mouth, or eyes, in order to comply with Islamic rulings regarding the depictions of facial features.

A doll with no face – it’s hard to imagine anything more creepy. The picture is certainly a nightmare.

View image on Twitter

The toy, which took four years to create, is the brainchild of Ridhwana B, a former teacher at a Muslim school.

She told the Lancashire Telegraph: ‘I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features.’

She continued: ‘Some parents won’t leave the doll with their children at night because you are not allowed to have any eyes in the room.’

‘There is an Islamic ruling which forbids the depiction of facial features of any kind and that includes pictures, sculptures and, in this case, dolls.’

That’s sick. Children love dolls, animal dolls as well as miniature-human dolls; children talk to their dolls, and they don’t talk to the feet or the bum but to the face. Infants pay attention to faces very earl in life. Faces matter, and there’s nothing wrong with our interest in them and in depictions of them. That’s a sick ruling and it should be ignored. That “doll” is a crime against children.

Although the doll, which retails at £25, is currently limited to the ‘Romeisa’ design – named after a companion of the Prophet Muhammad – Ridhwana hopes to extend the range.

‘The Islamic range in kid’s toys is quite limited at the moment with few choices. Although this project took a while, I am looking at researching other ideas in the future.’

‘I am looking at compiling a book for the Islamic upbringing of children in the future too.’

She’s a fanatic. This is fanaticism of the worst, most life-hating kind. Erasing faces is sick, sick, sick.


  1. says

    way to apply your aesthetic to shame another culture, yes very open minded of you there. really how dare they try to entertain their children with intra-culturally appropriate dolls. OMG!

  2. says

    Well, it IS a female doll. Women are not allowed to have faces, or else they might be mistaken for human. A male doll would be allowed a face under Islamic law, although a girl caught with a male doll would probably get punished severely.

  3. miraxpath says

    If you were going to be strictly iconaclastic muslim style, all human representation is haram, so that doll body is a definite no. I like the way fundies pick and choose their way to supposed purity – as none of them can really live without, say photographs. I knew a muslim family in my youth who hid away their TVand radio sets when their ultra conservative uncle from Pakistan came to visit. Some other objects like photos on the wall were covered with a cloth. It was ridiculous.

    Btw is post#3 for real? Fucking hell.

  4. peterh says

    So, it’s “intra-culturally appropriate dolls,” is it? You must work for Madison Avenue. Or Obama. I’ve heard a great many euphemisms in my 71 years and yours is right up near the top!

  5. quixote says

    starskeptic, a ‘mohammed face’ is probably whatever you say it is. Nobody actually knows what he looked like, do they?

    My first thought after the last line about erasing faces was: isn’t that the point of the niqab and burka? The removal of humanity is not complete if any expressions can be seen.

    (And Sandi? That’s not cultural. That’s universal. *Newborns* react to faces.)

  6. peterh says

    Of course nobody on the face of the Earth has the least idea what Mohammed looked like. But displaying his “semblance” in anything like a disrespectful manner (field’s horrifyingly wide open on this one) is subject to death.

  7. Blanche Quizno says

    Background: Islam arose using the Jewish scriptures and as a backlash against Christianity (my opinion). Christianity was all about destroying everything, especially knowledge (the first documented Christian book-burning is described in Acts 19:19). Yet Islam spread faster in its first 100 years than Christianity did in its first THOUSAND years – how, unless the targets saw the incoming Muslims as “white knights” to rescue them from the intolerant and brutal Christians? Remember, in those early centuries, this verse was actually valued:

    The ink of the scholar is more precious/holy than the blood of the martyr.

    Granted, it’s hadith, not Qur’an, so some consider it spurious.

    IN ANY CASE, the Islamic Golden Age (there’s a nice Wikipedia article on it) happened because the incoming Muslims gathered up all the local knowledge and amassed a magnificent “war chest” of information, research, learning, teaching, and intellect.

    That said, the 10 commandments include a strict prohibition against likenesses in art:

    “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

    The Catholics, who dearly love their idols, just kind of skipped over this one and split #10 into two to make it come out even.

    Jewish culture does not feature much representational art, either. That’s because both are drinking from the same stream – NO representational art full stop (Bible says). That’s why the Islamic Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas. It’s because ALL representational art is a no-no. Plenty of geometric patterns – apparently Pythagoras was just *fine* – but no peoples especially.

    The only advantage to a faceless doll is that the child can imagine whatever face s/he wishes, instead of being stuck with a Barbie face or a face of a different ethnicity. I don’t like it, myself, and the whole “Women’s identities and humanity must be erased” comes through loud and clear…

  8. peterh says

    @ #11: The “likeness” thing had nothing to do with representation and everything to do with idolatry. While #4 asserts it’s a female doll, we have only the costume to substantiate that, and such a “dress” could be seen as masculine in some cultures. Further, the totally faceless aspect will be as terrifying to some very young children as are the bearded and strangely dressed department store Santa or a “smiling” circus clown.

  9. Blanche Quizno says

    My little sister was absolutely terrified of this one doll when she was an infant. And of a certain pink ball. No one’s forcing anyone to buy the ugly things. In fact, I would go so far as to say that anything that’s considered Islam-appropriate is probably going to be a real turd of a gift.

  10. suerivers says

    Faceless dolls are nothing new, the Amish make them. That one has much fancier clothing than the Amish ones.

  11. carlie says

    She has no eyes, so she cannot see the injustices committed against her.

    She has no mouth, so she cannot protest.

    Perfect, in their view.

  12. Kevin Kehres says

    @11 Blanche Quizno

    Yeah, another misunderstanding as to what the prohibition was about. It was about making images of things to worship. That prohibition got morphed into any representation. But if you search Mosaics of Beth Alpha Synagogue, you’ll find plenty of representations of humans and animals.

    In the same way that the injunction against “taking the lord’s name in vain” has been morphed into a prohibition against saying bad words. The original intent was to honor a contract — if you swear by Yahweh to deliver 12 goats (in an age where everyone was illiterate), then you need to honor that contract and not swear “in vain”.

    And in the same way that the injunction against having other gods “before me” has been morphed into a claim that there is no other god except Yahweh. Obviously not — historically, even the Hebrew people worshiped other gods (the fact that they built altars to them in high places is one of the primary complaints of the priests of Yahweh in the OT).

  13. mikele says

    I was.going to make a comment about the Amish. They also don’t believe in idolatry or facial representation. Their doll’s are faceless and they have no mirrors.

  14. NitricAcid says

    I feel really sorry for the little girl who gets this doll and draws a face on it. Will she be stoned for such blasphemy?

  15. says

    When I first saw the name, Romeisa, I read “Romnesia.”

    You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them…

    Yeah, this isn’t about pictorial representations — otherwise no pictures of anything at all, living or nonliving, would be allowed. This is about images that people “bow down or serve,” as in images of gods in all their varied likenesses. Insane prohibitions like this one don’t come from a holy book, they come from deep-seated hatred and irrational revulsion.

  16. says

    Background: Islam arose using the Jewish scriptures and as a backlash against Christianity (my opinion).

    You’re claiming your opinion is a “background?”

  17. grumpyoldfart says

    This is fanaticism of the worst, most life-hating kind.

    That is the very thing that gets these freaks turned on. The know it is an horrible idea and they use their acceptance of it as a badge of honor: Ordinary people think this is creepy – and it is creepy – but I am holier than ordinary people and I have the strength and the faith to accept it without question.

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