Controversial ISIS Coloring Book Reaches Vestavia Home
Really Big Coloring Books, which credits itself with starting the adult coloring book craze, has come out with a new and controversial one titled “ISIS: A Culture of Evil.” The company sent thousands unsolicited around the country, and one ended up in a Muslim household in Vestavia Hills.
Henna Budhwani had just gotten home from work and was going through the mail when she found a manilla envelope. “I opened this up and I was horrified. Initially it took a minute to even register what I was looking at because it was a coloring book, but it felt anti-Islamic. It talked about anti-ISIS. It had a parental warning on it,” she says.
The cover shows a beheading, and there’s more graphic violence inside. Budhwani is Muslim, and she panicked. “I felt genuinely targeted,” she says.” I thought that someone had pulled my name from a database and said you’re a Muslim living in Alabama, and we want you out.”
But it turns out that the public-health researcher was on the company’s mailing list because several years ago, she worked on a related activity book that the company published.
Publisher Wayne Bell says there’s no reason for Muslims to take offense: “This is a pro-Islam book. There’s no doubt about it.” He says it’s part of a series including “We Shall Never Forget 9/11” and “The True Faces of Evil Global Terrorism.”
He says a lot of people “enjoy the fact that we’re not afraid to boldly go where a lot of publishers will not go.”
The company has also published titles like “Being Gay is Okay,” and books about dinosaurs and trains. Bell says the ISIS book is meant for adults. It includes a section saying that most Muslims don’t support ISIS. In addition to people like Budhwani, the book has been sent to hundreds of churches, synagogues and mosques.