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07 September 2011

9/11 colouring book sparks outrage

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A children's colouring book published to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has sparked outrage among US Muslims who accuse the author of stoking Islamophobia.

The 36-page book, We Shall Never Forget 9/11 - The Kids' Book of Freedom, depicts scenes from the attacks on the World Trade Centre.

One page portrays the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden, showing the al-Qaeda leader cowering behind a veiled woman as a US soldier pulls the trigger.

Cover of the Book. Photo Courtesy: AFP
"Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists," reads the accompanying text.

"These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE."

American Muslim leaders blasted the book for failing to differentiate between the terrorists responsible for the attack and mainsteam followers of the Islamic faith.

"It's hateful, inflammatory and completely inappropriate for children or anyone, for that matter," said Amina Sharif of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who said that the phrase "radical Islamic Muslim extremists" is used 10 times in the book.

But author Wayne Bell claimed he had sold out of the first print run of 10,000 copies and that there was nothing offensive about the book.

"This is history. It's absolutely factual," he said on CNN.

"This book is not portraying any group of people. We're talking about the 19 hijackers who came over here and murdered thousands of people."

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