A small bookstore and gift shop in Colorado has been in business for 35 years, but it has now come under constant attack, beginning earlier this week, after passersby began taking notice of what was on their sign. The owners are concerned for their safety, and many are saying the hate is ridiculously misplaced.
Karen Charboneau-Harrison’s bookstore has been a staple on the busy end of Broadway in a particularly mixed end of the city of Denver. She said the store celebrates all cultures, religions, and “spiritual sources,” which is something our world desperately needs now more than ever in these divisive times. But her Utopian ideas for her hippy outlet, where you could pick up some incense and a good read about your chakras, has attracted anything but peace, love, and unity because of her shop’s name.
Until the Paris terror attack, nobody seemed to take issue in the way they currently are now, with Karen’s store being called “ISIS” — named after the Egyptian goddess of course, not the Islamic terrorist organization. ISIS the store has been in business long before the terrorists group surfaced, and the goddess has been in the books even before that. But it took what happened in Paris for people to start targeting Karen’s shop for the perceived association with the violent Islamists because of name confusion.
No amount of meditation has made Karen comfortable in her little ISIS bookstore since vandals pummeled her sign along the street with bricks, along with other damaging attacks to her property. The owner told KDVR that in the aftermath of the recent terror attack in Paris on Friday, there seems to be misguided hate all because of ignorant people’s misunderstanding.
“We’re all very heartbroken (about the Paris attacks) so I don’t know if somebody walking down the street just saw our name on the sign and kind of lost it for a moment and threw a rock through it,” she said. “Or if it was an ignorant person, who actually thought this was a bookstore for terrorists, I don’t know.”
In four separate attacks on her business, the owners have had to replace their front door since the glass had shattered from items being hurled through it, her store front was splattered with pink paint, and the fiberglass sign outside that displays the shop’s name had been broken twice. Despite the annoyance and expense of it all, Karen said she’s not willing to change her name, and instead, she suggested people change what they call the terrorists.
She thinks that we should all follow Obama’s lead in referring to the group as ISIL instead of ISIS, or better yet, insult the terrorist with the term Daesh. “It apparently means a bigot who chooses to be violent, which describes them much better than using an Egyptian goddesses name,” Karen said about using Daesh instead of her store’s namesake.
I don’t agree that anyone should follow Obama’s lead in referring to the terrorists as ISIL, but Daesh is a perfect replacement term for ISIS, as it calls them what they are, and they also happen to hate the name. In the meantime, people need to target their frustration at the real problem, not a sign with a misunderstood name that’s easier to react to than actually doing anything important to make a difference.
h/t: [CBS Denver]