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Reading Between the Lines: Muslim Critics Find 9/11 Coloring Book Offensive


"It's hateful, inflammatory and completely inappropriate for children..."

Muslim-American groups are red with frustration over a 36-page "graphic novel" recently released by Really Big Coloring Books Inc. of St. Louis. The coloring book, "We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom," reportedly depicts colorable scenes from 9/11 to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Kids can color in the twin towers, Navy SEALS, and former president George W. Bush among others in a 12-hour narrative, rated "PG," saying children 10 and younger probably should use it with a parent or teacher at their side.

Amina Sharif of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told the Chicago Tribune that the book depicts the events of 9/11 in a "slanted" manner, failing to distinguish the attackers as extremist radicals:

"It's hateful, inflammatory and completely inappropriate for children or anyone for that matter," Sharif said.

Dawud Walid takes offense to the book, telling ABC News that nearly all of the mentions of Muslims in the book are accompanied by the words "terrorist" or "extremist."

"It's disgusting," said Walid, the Michigan representative for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The book's publishers say its a generic black-and-white coloring book designed as a learning tool and a memorial tribute to the families of 9/11.

"The book itself has nothing to do with the Muslim faith,' Bell said. 'It talks about the radical Islamist jihadist Osama bin Laden and his 19 terrorists and what they do to America."

Wayne Bell, Really Big Coloring Books publisher, told ABC News that the book is a honest depiction of 9/11:

"'The truth is the truth,' Bell said, adding, '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.'"

Bell says that sales for the book have done well, and told ABC News that he would be willing to print a book reflecting positive images in the Muslim-American community if requested.

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