While US President Barack Obama does not have a strategy against the Islamic militant group ISIS, a St. Louis coloring book company in the United States does have a plan. Really Big Coloring Books is re-releasing educational books on terrorism, said Founder Wayne Bell, in a video statement this week.
"We are re-releasing our books on terrorism. The 'We shall never forget 9/11 colouring book', the 'True faces of Evil', and the supplements on 'Learn about terrorism' including the bombers in Boston," said Bell in the video statement.
Despite repeatedly trying to convince the US Department of Education to include these books in the public school curricula, Bell has faced condemnation, including a letter from The White House.
"The books have gotten varied responses from Al Jazeera News, Arabian TV and Iranian TV. We have also received a letter from The White House telling us that they're not very happy that we are teaching children the word 'terror'.
"Well I'll tell you our company is going to publish these books, we will always publish these books because they tell the truth. These books actually explain what is going on today," said Bell.
Bell started making the colouring books on terrorism in 2010. While some of his colouring books are simple and controversy-free, like Fairies & Princesses, books like 'We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom' have garnered a lot of criticism and been labelled as 'disaster porn'.
"To me, coloring books should be fun ... this is not!" said Keri Bramham Hurd, a member of the Stuttgart, Germany's military community.
The 9/11 colouring book includes pictures of a burning World Trade Center, including a picture of a Navy SEAL aiming at Osama bin Laden, who is hiding behind a veiled woman. A message next to the image reads, "Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating Islamic Muslim extremists. These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE."
ISIS inspired supplements
Bell's company is re-releasing the terrorism colouring books with two new supplemental pages, including a 'Terror Update on Global Jihad' that addresses the Islamic militant group ISIS.
"These pages are pretty dramatic. There's one that shows the crucifixion of some of the Christians [by ISIS]...It comes with definite warning...These books are not for the backpacks of kindergarten children. They are made for children, but with adult supervision," said Bell in a conversation with Daily Beast.
Bell further adds that Really Big Coloring Books is simply trying to play their part in educating people.
"We're trying to educate people on these animals. These brutal people, these terrible people on the planet called ISIS. This is not about Islamic faith; this is not about Muslim people. This is about radical Islamic Muslim terrorist extremists."