ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A longtime bookstore on South Broadway in Englewood shares the name of a radical terrorist group and now has become the target of vandals.
Isis Books & Gifts has been at the same location for more than three decades. But only recently has its name conjured up images of Middle Eastern terror. Owner Jeff Harrison is horrified that people in the Colorado community think his store is in anyway associated with the terrorists who call themselves by the acronym ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“Isis is the Egyptian goddess of life, love, fertility, women and marriage. Her worship goes back 3,500 years,” Harrison said.
But recently vandals have targeted the store assuming it was a business set up by terrorists.
“People throwing rocks in our sign, that just happened recently; throwing paint on our sign and our front door and smashing out the front door,” Harrison said.
Loyal customers are dismayed by the ignorance of those who associate the longtime bookstore with the relatively new terrorist group.
“I think that’s a good example of how intolerance get started, the name Isis has nothing to do with Islam,” a customer said.
Another customer agrees: “If you give it even a minute of thought you’ll realize the two have nothing to do with one another,” another customer said.
CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll asked Harrison if he’s considered changing the name of the store.
“Why not change the name? We feel the name is such a powerful name of healing and life we don’t want to give in and change it because of a bunch of idiots,” Harrison said.
So Isis, the bookstore, will continue to share the name with ISIS, the terrorist group. But the two couldn’t be more different in philosophy.
Harrison surveyed his store, which has signs saying peace, love and tranquility all around.
“We feel it’s important to hold on to it and not give in to purveyors of death,” he said.
LINK: Isis Books & Gifts
Suzanne McCarroll is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. Her stories can regularly be seen on CBS4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @SuzanneCBS4.