The Colouring of Hate

I stumbled upon this article, As an American Muslim, I am Disgusted by the 9/11 Coloring Book, after I found the link at PZ Myers' Pharyngula blog. And this is actually the first time I've heard about this colouring book, but I want to say. . .

"What the fuck!?!'

And yeah, I think that sums up my thoughts on the colouring book really nicely.

The most disturbing thing isn't the fact a publishing company thought it was a wonderful idea to produce this bigotry spewing, hate fest propaganda for children, but rather the initial print run of 10, 000 copies have already sold. Really people? A colouring book about the 9/11 tragedy, that depicts the events like some type of action film, and essentially makes all Muslims appear like Cobra (from GI Joe) is the best gift for your child? This may rival the 9/11 Mosque absurdity and the Quran burning idiocy.

First of all, I really don't think a real life tragedy needs to be marketed to kids. Especially in a way where they depict Bin Laden plotting his evil plan, and then capping it off with the Navy SEAL putting a bullet in his head (yeah, my child can colour red spraying from Bin Laden's head!). Kids do need to be made aware of what happened at 9/11, just like I think it is important to alert children of all major historical events. But they don't need to have it come off as some adventure story that they put right beside their Mickey Mouse and Transformers books.

I don't have any problem with kids having action stories or even tales with violence (name me a fairy tale that doesn't have violence in it). When I was a child, my mom bought me barrels of He-Man and Star Wars toys. Both had lots of guns and swords and I clearly knew what they would be used for. But at the same time, all those toys were fantasy and science fiction. They were in a world that was fictional. The issues and problems were far fetched and unreal. They were depicted in shows and movies that weren't full of death or real life tragedy.

9/11 is real. The war that came from it was real. The death of Bin Laden was real. I don't feel their material is appropriate for a children's book. If you can't see the difference between 9/11 and Transformers or Spider-Man, then I question your ability to function in modern society.

The other big issue is the message this colouring book is giving to kids. I haven't seen the book, but I am given the impression that the only Muslims depicted in the book are the terrorists. That is exactly the worse possible message to give young children. We don't need to raise them with more bigotry and hate. They don't need even more media that depicts Muslims as the 'other'. They especially don't need it from media that is specially geared towards them.

I really think this type of stuff is even more damaging than the Quran burning or mosque opposition. Because this type of material is what will fuel that mentality and hate when the kid gets older and should be positiively contributing to society.. And yes, the publisher argues that they were only attacking the evil terrorists and the 'demonic' Osama Bin Laden, but the fact they ignore that Muslim Americans suffered during 9/11, is a subtle message of who the bad guys are. Even worse, who 'real' Americans are.

Be sure to check out the article, because it is the view from an actual American Muslim. So, the author can explain exactly what makes a Muslim an American and how this horrid book negatively effects them.