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Isis bookstore in Colorado rebrands after vandalism

An Englewood, Colo., bookstore named Isis Books & Gifts is rebranding itself, but not changing its name, after being vandalized several times, Fox 31 Denver reports.

The store, which specializes in New Age books, music and art, was apparently targeted because of its name's similarity to the ISIS acronym often used for the terrorist organization Islamic State. 

The bookstore's new sign features a depiction of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the store's namesake, with the words "Goddess Books & Gifts." The sign replaces the former one, which was damaged last month by a vandal throwing a brick.

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"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," owner Karen Charboneau-Harrison said. "Or if it was an ignorant person who actually thought this was a bookstore for terrorists, I don't know."

The store's website also features the name "Goddess Books & Gifts," but retains the Isis name in its URL. A note on the site explains the reasoning behind the name Isis: "Isis Books, Gifts and Healing Oasis was founded almost 35 years ago. We chose the name 'Isis' for our store because Isis is the name of the great Egyptian Goddess who has been venerated for thousands of years."

Charboneau-Harrison emphasized that despite the new sign, the store is not officially changing its name. "When we answer the phone, it’s still Isis Books and Gifts," she told CBS Denver. "Why wave a flag in front of ignorant people who may react in such a negative way when we don't have to?"

On Monday, the bookstore changed the profile picture on its Facebook page to a painting of the goddess Isis. Some commenters seemed to be under the impression that the store was changing its name.

"This is a sad day in the Pagan world.... Sighs," one Facebook user posted. "Our hearts go out to the owner, Karen, a fellow Pagan and business owner of 'Isis Books & Gifts,' now renamed 'Goddess Books & Gifts,' because ... ignorance ... has been allowed. ALLOWED. We as Pagans need to rally around them and support them in this tumultuous time of devastation." The comment was followed by an emoji of a frowning face.

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