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9/11 Coloring Book Influences Kids With Islamophobia

31 August 2011 General 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
9/11 Coloring Book

9/11 Coloring Book

By Tanya Somanader on Aug 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Believing that the upcoming 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 is best memorialized in crayon, Really Big Coloring Books, Inc. is publishing a new coloring book entitled “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.” In offering kids the option of coloring the Twin Towers burning, mourning survivors, or the Navy SEALs shooting Osama Bin Laden, publisher Wayne Bell insists that “the doodles represent patriotism,” a “simplistic, honest tool” to “help educate children on events on 9/11.” But many Muslims describe it as, in a word, “disgusting.”

Pointing out that Muslims are already dealing with an environment of increasing Islamophobia, Michigan Council on American Islamic Relations representative Dawud Walid noted that “nearly all of the mentions of Muslims in the book are accompanied by the words ‘terrorist’ or ‘extremist.’” Indeed, the page depicting a Navy SEAL aiming at bin Laden cowering behind is veiled wife reads “Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating Islamic Muslim extremists. These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE.” Bell’s response? “The truth is the truth“:

“Little kids who pick up this book can have their perceptions colored by those images … it instills bias in young minds,” said Walid. He says that some of the narrative and photos aren’t even correct, noting that Bin Laden wasn’t hiding behind a wife when he was shot.

Bell stood by the book as an “honest depiction”.

“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.”

Noting that one page depicts a woman mourning with a cross chain dangling from her neck, Walid says “Muslims mothers lost sons too.” He also noted that he’s not an advocate of showing children violent images — a sentiment that many military families share. Shariah Gibbs, a military spouse in Germany, said “This should not be a coloring book.” Another said, “I would not buy a coloring book [about 9/11]…To me, coloring books should be fun….this is not!”

It is important to note that Bell has published other coloring books on topics “from dinosaurs and zoo animals to African-American leaders, President Obama, superheroes of the Bible and even the Tea Party.” He even said that, if asked to print a book reflecting positive images of Muslim Americans, “I’d print it tomorrow.” To which Walid said, “Well, I’m asking him to do it right now.”

Original post: 9/11 Coloring Book Influences Kids With Islamophobia


  1. I think you’re reaching a bit here. On the one hand, does Sept 11 really need a coloring book? On the other Muslims who were NOT extremists are not the subject matter here.Everything not mentioned is not marginalized.

  2. Agreed with Larry, they specify extremists. This isn’t targeting Muslims in general. Though, the concept of a kids coloring book with guns being pointed at people, and coloring a WTC tower on fire is going pretty overboard for children, I wouldn’t buy it for my kid. It is not representing Patriotism either, it’s representing nationalism – not a form for the better of it. I’ll hope to see Bell print a book that shows the good side of Islam too, as he says he would – tomorrow is fine for me, as long as it means September 2011, and the two books should be side by side, or included in the same package.

  3. To LarryB:

    Even if regular Muslims aren’t being depicted, most people still miss the word ‘extremists’ when talking about Islamic Terroists. A kid coloring his little book definately wouldn’t pick up on the difference. Part of the sad reason Islamophobia exists.

    In general, I agree entirely with the military spouse against this book. Watching old style cartoons like Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry are one thing. Coloring pictures of people being threatened with guns? Entirely different, and wrong.

  4. What else culd you call them? WOW this Bell character must be a fool. How about radicals who twist the messgae of Islam until it’s dramatically incorrect? If the Prophet were alive right now, Taliban and Al Qaeda never would have existed, the whole “blowing up things” or “invasion” or “let’s kill non muslims” was not once mentioned in the Quran. The prophet would be preaching good will, peace between all religions, and one thing that is very important that fuels hate “anger” . He said,”if you are angry and you are sitting-stand, if standing when angry, sit. Wash up, and let the anger melt away. From anger can come many negative things. Anger comes from Satan, don’t let him influence you.”

    I had to mention that. Sorry.

    But really, like they don’t even get that 9/11’s victims were part Muslim, Muslims who went to work like any other day, Muslims on their way to work who were passing by and got crushed by falling debris or were burned and killed by the explosions. Look, sorry if some Muslims are ignorant of this and start getting all defensive, thats actually a big no-no in Islam, and I’m sorry if any of you lost a loved one that dreadful day my condolensces really, but don’t they know we’re victims too?

    Kids wouldn’t play with me in elementary school because my teacher kept pointing out Suddam Hussein and saying “Elle’s people this, Elle’s people that” what would’ve happened if they had a coloring book like this then? I’ll tell you what happened, my entire family would have to move to Canada. This book is really insensitive. Look, keep the part about cross-wearing women but the whole Bin Laden scene needs to be pulled out. Most kids don’t know who he is, or what Islam is, and they can be highly influenced by all of this. When I was a kid, the teacher kept associtaing me to Hussein for a second I really believed I had to be related to him, after all, why would she keep putting me and him in the same sentance. When I asked my dad, he said very plainly “You’re not Iraqi, you’re not related to any dictators or crazy people. Go do your homework” The next week I was transferred to a Muslim school. People just demonize us sometimes and they think they’re right I’m sorry, you’re wrong.

  5. It’s sad and weird to have your children color pictures of a disaster or pictures of someone being shot. It reeks of propaganda, of trying to instill certain messages in their hearts and minds. Can’t you just imagine the old communist regimes using these kinds of tactics to get children comfortable with their slogans? So how about children hearing over and over again “freedom-hating Islamic Muslim terrorists”?

    How do you think they will react to the first Muslim they meet? Probably not in a positive manner. Even if they are told that “not all” Muslims are terrorists, how is a child to know whether this man or this woman is a terrorist? All the child has learned so far is to be afraid. This is not what is best for our children, to live in fear. They should grow up to be strong, confident, and comfortable with the many kinds of people in our cosmopolitan world that is modern-day America.

  6. @Dave.

    Oh yes they are. There is a woman wearing a burqa, hijab with a scarf also veiling the face. It’s not mndatory, but some encourage it for modesty reasons. She’s wearing a jilbab, also very modest Islamic wear.

  7. @Kathryn Hill

    I agree. Remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when all the Japanese people were jailed, and they actually made a Looney Tunes cartoon all about hw “bad” japanese are but it was banned, it’s so freakin terrible because here they are, doing it again.

    I’m surprised they didn’t make one know. But The Simpsons have an episode when it comes to tolerance of Muslims. I kinda thought it was cute. But I bet after a kid watched it they would think “so do all Muslims like to blow things up” because the Muslim man’s job in the cartoon was to safely and legally detonate old buildings to replace with new buildings. Homer was yelling “US USA USA” trying to keep him from blowing up the building because he didn’t know the Muslim guy had a warrant and that it was his legit and legal job.

    Anyway, I’m digressing, American propaganda has reached its peak. No kid stands a chance.

  8. DAve and Larry, Those who commited 911, we have never seen them on TV during the news wearing a hijab or a white kamis that is normally worn by muslim men, instead if you remember the filming of those guys at the airport were wearing westeners clothes, Hence I would say this cartoon would have been more appropriate to have guys wearing westeners clothes.

    No need for you to say it is for the extremists. You can never classify a person to be extremist unless you have had a good discussion and read out his mind, and not by looking at his clothes.

  9. ok Salim, your right. Clothes isn’t everything.

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