‘Terror update:’ Controversial anti-ISIS coloring book featuring tortures hits stores
It’s not the first time the US publisher Really Big Coloring
Books has addressed the issue of terrorism. Three years ago the
company’s graphic 9/11 themed edition - "We Shall Never
Forget 9/11: Kids' Book of Freedom" - ignited a firestorm of
controversy, with some only arguing the topic was inappropriate
for a coloring book, while others labeled it anti-Muslim
The coloring book is still on sale, as well as the equally controversial "The True Faces of Evil Global Terrorism" coloring book. Now both go with a supplement - "The Terror Update on Global Jihad," devoted to the Islamic State.
One of the pages shows a crucified man and says: “Beheading, murdering, cutting in half the bodies of innocent men, women and children – this is what ISIS [now the Islamic State] wants to bring to America and its people. What are you going to do when they come for you?”
Wayne Bell, co-founder of the publishing company does not see
anything wrong in addressing this question to children.
“Every day children, parents, teachers, educators hear the same exact news on TV,” he told RT’s Gayane Chichakyan. “What this book allows parents to do is to sit down with their child and explain to them exactly what’s going on. These are real images… these are real issues. The real horror here is the fact that there are terrorists that would murder you and everybody else in this country, because we do not believe in Allah.”
Another page for coloring features five bearded faces, saying
they are five Taliban prisoners released from Guantanamo in
exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Chichakyan noted thousands of
Muslims would resemble those five and asked if the publisher
wasn’t afraid the image could provoke religious hatred.
Bell argued the sketches for coloring depicted real people, as was the crucified man in the book.
“This is a real man that was hung in the street. All of the children that Friday afternoon had to go kick him in the tail… do you understand that? That man was crucified because he was Christian. This is a real man. This is on the United States website right now, the real image,” he said.
Bell’s last argument in support of the comic book was that Americans “are not communist,” so parents can choose whether to buy the book or not. “You cannot determine what mothers and fathers will do in this country,” he said.
Human rights groups have, meanwhile, described the anti-terrorist coloring books as not the best choice parents can make.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reacted to the 9/11 book three years ago by saying in a statement that the book could lead children to believe all Muslims were 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.