9/11 coloring book sparks controversy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 12:01pm

A new coloring book is creating controversy worldwide.

"We Shall Never Forget 9/11" is selling fast while drawing criticism.

The book shows images from 9/11.

It starts off like any other children's coloring book, but the pages that follow describe the 9/11 terror attacks.

It's creating a lot of buzz because of the images included.

"And it goes on to page 19 and it shows the Navy Seal shooting Osama Bin Laden in his home in Pakistan," says Wayne Bell, publisher of Really Big Coloring Books Incorporated.

Bell said the book was created as a result of listening to the public.

"We're not making statements. There's no statement attached to this book. This book is based on market research. It's based on what people tell us they're looking for," said Bell.

The publisher of the "coloring novel" as Bell refers to it, said the book came out this month and it has already sold thousands of copies.

Although he wouldn't tell us an exact total, Bell did say this book is currently being printed.

Bell said this book is intended for children 10 and up, and carries a PG rating.

He says since the book's release he's been busy fielding calls from around the world.

"We've contacted a sergeant here in the Clayton Police Department to let him know what some of these calls and messages have been like, but some of people are saying fairly nasty things and we hope that they're just saying them," said Bell.

Leaders with St. Louis' Council on American-Islam Relations say this book is extremely offensive to those of their faith, and paints a stereotypical picture of Muslims.

"We feel as if he's just capitalizing on the 10th anniversary of September 11th," said Faizan Sayed, Executive Director of C.A.I.R.

"Kids think of coloring books as fun, something to do, as a past time. Something they like and enjoy. I don't relate that as an enjoyable experience," said mother Ashley Battle.

"To some extent, I think its sensationalizing," said father Pat Ertmann.

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