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New 9/11 Children's Coloring Book: Labeled as 'Disaster Porn' by American Muslims

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    (Photo: Courtesy of Really Big Coloring Books, Inc.)
    We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom has just been released by the Missouri-based publisher, Really Big Coloring Books. A new children's coloring book depicting scenes from 9/11 and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
By R. Leigh Coleman, Christian Post Reporter
August 31, 2011|4:56 pm

A publisher has memorialized the 9/11 terrorist attacks in a manner that's generating a lot of controversy.

A coloring book about the 9/11 terrorist attacks aimed at helping children understand the meaning behind the events that shocked our nation has prompted a firestorm of outrage among American Muslims.

We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom has just been released by the Missouri-based publisher, Really Big Coloring Books, Inc..

While the book publisher says the fill-in coloring pictures represent patriotism, some Muslims are arguing that the book promotes the same stereotypes that have haunted Muslim Americans for years.

It runs for $6.99 online.

The new book contains pictures of the burning twin towers and the execution of a cowering Osama bin Laden for children to fill in with color. It ends with a Navy SEAL shooting bin Laden as he hides behind a woman in Islamic clothing.

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It has stirred controversy since its recent release, being labeled everything from "disaster porn" to propaganda.

Is it an attention-grabbing publicity stunt, or an effort to educate kids about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the decade of fighting that followed?

According to the publisher, the book’s initial print run of 10,000 copies has already sold out

The book has a PG rating because “terrorism is human made and is very old. It comes in people of all shapes, sizes and colors. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity.”

“It deals with the truth,” said publisher Wayne Bell.

“This book was created with integrity, honesty, reverence, respect and does not shy away from the truth.”

Depicting graphic scenes from 9/11, the book is designed to be a “tool parents can use to help teach children about the facts surrounding 9/11.”

Bell said in the book people will see what happens to a terrorist who orders others to bomb a peace loving wonderful nation.

Husna Haq, a news blogger, writes that “as an American, I find that incredibly disturbing. And as an American Muslim, I find the coloring book disgusting.”

“As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11 Muslim Americans are mourning, too. Muslims were among those killed in the attacks and Muslims were among the first responders who risked their own lives to save others,” he said.

“To me, this coloring book is a part of that hate-espousing rhetoric and it’s even worse because it’s injecting that venom into children.”

Bell is firing back in a statement saying the book doesn’t portray Muslims “in a negative light at all. That is incorrect. This is about 19 terrorist hijackers that came over here under the leadership of a devil worshipper, Osama bin Laden, to murder our people… This is history. It is absolutely factual.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement saying the book tries to link all Muslims to terrorism and could lead children to believe that all Muslims are their enemies.

“America is full of these individuals and groups seeking to demonize Islam and marginalize Muslims and it's just a fact of life in the post-9/11 era,” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of CAIR, said in the statement.

Nonetheless, he said he hoped "parents would recognize the agenda behind this book and not expose their children to intolerance or religious hatred.”

Dawud Walid, the Michigan representative for the Council on American Islamic Relations, says instead of finding hope in the coloring book, he found hate.

He says this book is more than just coloring inside the lines.

"Little kids who pick up this book can have their perceptions colored by those images and it instills bias in young minds," Walid said in a statement.

“Some of the narrative and photos aren't even correct. Bin Laden wasn't hiding behind a wife when he was shot.”

There are some parents who think the coloring book is innocent enough for children.

"I do not mind teaching my children the truth about history," Molly Hitton, a mother of three following the story from Mobile, Ala., told The Christian Post.

"What is wrong with making sure our children do not receive sugar-coated information about the real world? People are being too sensitive about a little coloring book."

"The truth is the truth," Bell said.

"It's unfortunate that they were all Muslim and that's the part people want to erase. I don't know what else you can call them."

Big Coloring Books, Inc. also publishes coloring books about dinosaurs, zoo animals, African-American leaders, President Obama, superheroes of the Bible, and even the Tea Party.

 

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