- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2003

PITTSBURGH (AP) Target Corp. pulled boxes of Valentine's Day cards from its shelves after one contained the word "jihad," and a parent interpreted the message as a veiled terrorist threat.
A spokesman for the retail chain said Monday that the company was removing "I Spy" box sets of Valentine's Day trading cards from its stores after a parent in Pittsburgh contacted the store and law enforcement.
Among several other items, the card contained the word "jihad" and the message, "It's Time to Be Mine." The FBI said it was looking into the origin of the card.
Jihad refers to the Islamic concept of the struggle to do good. In particular situations, that can include the waging of holy war, and extremist Muslims often employ the term with that meaning.
The publisher, Scholastic Inc. in New York City, said any association with terrorism was unintended.
Aimee Spengler Dolan, a spokeswoman for the publisher, said the card in question was a portion of a photo and riddle from "I Spy School Days," published in 1995.
Jihad was the name of a child in a class the author visited, the publisher said. Scholastic said that it changed the name in subsequent reprints of the book to Jared in 2001, but that the cards used original artwork.
Nick Poillucci, 37, said he purchased the set at a Target on Saturday for his 3-year-old daughter to give out in her preschool class. He said he noticed the word "jihad" upon opening the box at home.
"At first, we just thought it was in really bad taste or maybe some radical in the art department of this company or something," Mr. Poillucci said.
He said he became more concerned because a drawing of a clock in the picture had red lines emanating from it, as if it might suggest an explosion.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide