Players: Wayne Bell, publisher of We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom; Amina Sharif, communications director for the Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Imam M. Zaman Marwant of the The Islamic Association of The Finger Lakes.
The Opening Serve: Bell has published a 36-page "graphic novel" depicting the events of 9/11. The book allows children to color scenes like Navy SEALs raiding the Bin Laden's compound, Osama bin Laden using a veiled woman as a human shield, and the World Trade Center Towers burning. "If you bomb our country, America will chase you 'til the very end," Bell told Talking Points Memo. "That's what it shows." He adds that the book is a representation of 9/11. "It's a clean, honest read," he said. "It's not degrading or anything like that." Bell also spoke to the Chicago Tribune. "It's a generic black-and-white coloring book with tender language for the children and their parents," Bell said. "It's designed as a teaching and learning tool, and it's a memorial tribute to the families of 9/11."
The Return Volley: Sharif doesn't believe it's that simple. The Chicago communications director of CAIR told the Tribune that the book shows 9/11 and its aftermath "in a 'slanted' manner," painting Muslims in broad strokes and failing to distinguish extremist radicals from the majority of Muslims. "It's hateful, inflammatory and completely inappropriate for children or anyone for that matter," Sharif said. Sharif's statements were echoed by Imam M. Zaman Marwant, a Muslim leader, to WENY-TV. "There were Muslims' lives that were lost and through these kinds of information, we are telling these families don't even mourn your dead or your lost. So, it's a sad thing that is happening."