Long before the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, there was Isis the Egyptian goddess.
Karen Charboneau-Harrison and her husband opened Isis Books and Gifts in Englewood, Colorado, 35 years ago, but now its name is causing problems and inciting vandalism, KUSA reports (video below).
"We deliberately named our store Isis because of our respect for the Egyptian goddess," Charboneau-Harrison told KUSA. "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."
Someone threw rocks at the store’s sign and shattered it on Nov. 15, just two days after the terrorist group ISIS, also known ISIL or Daesh, launched an assault on Paris. Over 100 people died in the attacks.
And this isn't the first time the business has been vandalized.
"Unfortunately, we have also had someone come by and throw hot pink paint all over our sign," Charboneau-Harrison said. "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. We've also gotten threatening phone calls, you know, 'terrorists burn in hell.' You know, it's just pretty crazy.”
Despite the repeated vandalism, Isis Bookstore and Gifts won’t be renamed anytime soon.
"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," she added. "But they just need to think for a moment.”
Charboneau-Harrison’s store isn’t alone. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, over 270 products or business names use "ISIS," CNN reports.
Isis Pharmaceuticals, in particular, said they’re considering a name change.
"Even though people know we're not associated with the terrorist group, the name itself has so many negative connotations," D. Wade Walke, the company's vice president for corporate communications and investor relations, told CNN Money. "It's obviously not getting better over time."