ENGLEWOOD – Owners of Isis Bookstore in Englewood said the store was vandalized Sunday night, but that wasn’t the first time it had been targeted because of its name.
Karen Charboneau-Harrison and her husband opened Isis Books and Gifts in 1980. She said many people don’t understand that the store’s name is not related to the extremist militant group ISIS which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant .
“We deliberately named our store Isis because of our respect for the Egyptian goddess. We are a store that represents world wisdom traditions and alternative spiritual practices such as Hinduism, Native American Shamanism, and goddess spirituality, on and on. So the Goddess Isis really exemplifies what we’re trying to do in the world.”
She said, in the past two years, they have had a number of incidents where property has been damaged and threats have been made. Sunday night, someone threw rocks and shattered the store’s sign.
“Unfortunately, we have also had someone come by and throw hot pink paint all over our sign. And in another instance, signs in our parking lot were torn down and thrown on the pavement. Another time, someone came in with a large rock to destroy our glass front door, which had to be replaced,” Charboneau-Harrison said. “We’ve also gotten threatening phone calls, you know, ‘terrorists burn in hell.’ You know, it’s just pretty crazy.”
Charboneau-Harrison said they posted a picture of the broken sign on the store’s Facebook page, where hundreds of people have commented and said they support the store and its efforts. She believes those who have damaged the store’s property do not understand the origin of its name.
“I just wish they could educate themselves, I mean, we of course, are just as heartbroken and horrified by everything that’s going on, as I’m sure that person who just recently destroyed our sign is,” Charboneau-Harrison said. “I think it was an emotional reaction to seeing that word that, as in some areas, has come to represent death and fear. But they just need to think for a moment.”
The bookstore has no plans to change its name.