9/11 Book, Jihadist ‘Comedy’ Challenged as Insensitive

Critics have recently led assaults on two 9/11 terror attack commemorative projects, one a coloring book and the other a comedy show about suicide bombers.

Children’s Coloring Book Depicts Bin Laden Murder Scene

Al Jazeera reported on the coloring book controversy, noting that several groups have taken a stance against “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.”

* Parenting.com questions the coloring book’s appropriateness for children. Among other concerns, the book depicts a Navy SEAL pointing a gun at Osama bin Laden’s head.

* The Council on American-Islam Relations called the coloring book “disgusting,” according to Al Jazeera.

* The most common complaint about the book was that it allegedly portrays all Muslims as anti-American and implicates them in the attacks. This claim is based on the use of phrases like “freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists,” and “These crazy people hate the American way of life.”

The book’s publisher, Wayne Bell, denies the critics’ claims. He says the book was created with integrity, honesty, reverence and respect. Bin Laden, he says, was a devil worshipper. He insists the book is factually correct, despite errors in the text, including allegations that Bin Laden used his family as shields and definitive identification of the Capitol as Flight 93’s target.

Bell’s company, Really Big Coloring Books, has sold its initial press run of 10,000 copies.

Comedy Framed Around Suicide Bombers

British Television Channel 4 plans to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a series of programs including Four Lions, billed as a black comedy about five bumbling suicide bombers. Created by Chris Morris, the movie follows the misadventures of aspiring jihadists as they plot mass murder at a London marathon.

While the film is being aired during the week of the terror attacks’ 10th anniversary (station managers nixed a showing on the date 9/11), it may create more offense for British viewers than Americans with its tendency to call up memories of the London subway bombings in 2005.

Because the Four Lions jihadists are from Yorkshire like the real subway bombers, some Brits, including the father of one of the victims, insist Morris is capitalizing on that specific attack, not parodying jihadists generally.

For alternative viewing, serious documentaries about the hunt for Osama bin Laden and emergency service heroes will also air during the week of programming memorializing 9/11.

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