9/11 colouring book to teach kids prompts row in US
Published 01/09/2011 | 08:01
A colouring book designed to teach young children about the September 11 terrorist attacks has prompted a row in the US.
Timed to coincide with the attacks' tenth anniversary, 'We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom', offers parents a tool for educating children who were not born at the time, its publishers say.
Scenes outlined in the book include Osama bin Laden hiding behind a woman in a hijab as a bullet from a Navy SEAL's rifle hurtles towards him during the raid on his Pakistani compound in May.
"Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists," a piece of accompanying text tells readers.
"These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE." The book, which costs $6.99 (£4.30), "was created with honesty, integrity, reverence, respect and does not shy away from the truth," according to Really Big Coloring Books, its Missouri-based publisher.
Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has described the book as "disgusting" and accused the publishers of peddling intolerance and prejudice to children.
"All these characters are painted to the mind of a young person that perhaps all Muslims may be somewhat responsible for 9/11 or that Muslims are an enemy," said Mr Walid.
But Wayne Bell, the founder of Really Big Coloring Books, dismissed the criticism, saying: "This is history. It is absolutely factual." "This is about 19 terrorist hijackers that came over here under the leadership of a devil worshipper, Osama bin Laden, to murder our people," said Mr Bell.