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USA: Eid Postage Stamp Provokes Hate in Tennessee

eid

A 2008 version of the stamp, before the price increase

As Muslims in the United States celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the celebration which marks the end of Ramadan, a pernicious chain e-mail is making its rounds.  The e-mail falsely claims that President Obama has issued a new postage stamp commemorating the two Eid celebrations and urges readers to boycott it, naming several terrorist attacks on the U.S. over the past twenty years.  The full text of the e-mail can be seen in this post by Missives from Marx, who expresses frustration at the letter, saying:

I received the following email forward today from a family member. It is because of stuff like this that I’m going to have to spend four weeks of my Western Religions course deconstructing Muslim stereotypes. This is why critical thinking has to be an essential component of all my courses.

As it turns out, there's nothing new about the letter, or the stamp.  About.com explains that the letter has been around since at least 2002, while the stamp itself was issued on September 1, 2001.

Aziz Poonwalla, on the BeliefNet blog City of Brass, explains the history of the e-mail:

Versions of the email, which has been making the rounds for years, have been repeatedly debunked before, but it still persists. I've blogged extensively about the history of the Eid stamp, the controversy that accompanied it when it was introduced (mostly from conservative Republicans), and the defense of the stamp by President Bush and Speaker Hastert. In a nutshell, the stamp was introduced on September 1st 2001, ten days before the 9-11 attacks, during the Bush Administration. Mayor Piper joins a long list of conservative politicians who have no objection to stamps commemorating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, even teh Chinese New year – but a stamp devoted to the muslim holiday of Eid is singled out as a threat, requiring response from “patriotic” Americans?

A post on the Clarksville Online, a blog for the town of Clarksville, Tennessee, explains why the e-mail has made major headlines this year:

Clarksville Tennessee’s Mayor, Johnny Piper has sent an inflammatory anti-Islamic email to employees of the city, encouraging them to boycott a stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service…

…Mayor Piper has since attempted to defend his actions, but they are simply indefensible. Muslims are a integral part of this country. They serve honorably in our armed forces, defending our nation, and our freedoms. No one should be treated like a second class citizens based on their religious beliefs, or the actions of a radical fringe. This incident created by our Mayor  has been an embarrassment for our City, our State, and our Country.

Sheila Musaji has been tracking chain e-mails about the stamp for The American Muslim (TAM) since 2005, and in an update, remarks on Mayor Piper's abhorrent actions:

I’m certain the good mayor was just as surprised about President Obama’s White House Iftar.

And, of course the final recourse of all bigots:  “I have some good Muslim friends,” he immediately added.”

Perhaps those good Muslim friends might enlighten him as to why THIS (PDF) is offensive.

49 comments

  • Abdu

    Thank you Julio, you got the point.

    • j. Kactuz

      He did? Did you? Neither of you have any idea of how to conduct proper dialogue or debate. Neither of you responded to my comments even when I gave clear references to important issues in your own ‘sacred’ texts..

      Instead you have make broad, undeterminte and rather amusing accusations about me, my culture, my race and religion… none of which you know anything about. Julio, fyi, my children are half black and they don’t qualify as gringos either, by race or ethnicity. Yes we have Mexicanos in the family and much more from even further south. So what? In fact I am the only person in my family born in the USA. I am just telling you this to show how assinine your assumptions are, from start to finish. I don’t know your race or ethnicity (except Julio, maybe) and I don’t care, but I do care about an ideology that clearly teaches hate and violence, which you obviously don’t want to talk about or don’t know how to defend.

      If either of you wish to continue this, please try to come up with a subject matter more important and interesting than my person, or just give me your interpretation of that verse in the Quran (9:111). Thinking is good for you. Try it; it doesn’t hurt.

      Boy have we come a log way from a stupid postage stamp that has been out for years.

      Kactuz

      • Abdu

        Mr. Kactuz~
        maybe you will help us understand these Bible verses!
        ” I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh…defeat them and destroy them utterly..make no treaty with them and show no favor to them.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

        “when..God gives (a city)into your hands, kill all the men in it..Do not leave alive anything that breathes”(Deuternomy 29:10-17)

        “kill every male child and baby and kill every women who is not a virgin.But save for yourself the virgin girls” (Numbers 31:17-18)

        “As for my enemies who do not want me (Jesus)to reign over them, bring them and kill them in my presence”.(Luke 19:26-27

        “Do not think I (Jesus)have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but sword”. (Matthew 10:34)

  • Cyrax

    what’s the problem with that verse? give the translation you’ve found first then we shall see about that.

    • Abdu

      yes, i’m interested to know about the verse Mr.Kactuz is refering to?

  • Julio Mexico

    ha? so you know something about Quran? you read quran and you are not a beleiver?

    • Julio,

      Do you think that someone could read the Qur’an and not be Muslim? I read it, and I’m not a “believer.”

      -Jillian

    • Abdu

      Julio,
      it is not possible for every one who read Quran to be a Moslem. i would like to remind you about some verses.

      1) Verily, you (Mohamed) guide not who you like, but Allah guides whom he wills. And He knows best those who are guided (Al-Qasas,56)

      2) Those whom Allah willeth to guide, -He openeth their bosom to Islam (Al-Anam 6:125)

      have a great day

  • Shar1

    We are all a part of the same universal energy.Again this I am right and you are wrong is the problem. Live whatever you believe. Do not critisize others for their beliefs. Zealots of any belief are a problem. We must all learn to coexist:)

  • Julio Mexico

    Jillian,
    you are right! you do not have to beleive everything you read, but atleast some one should have respect for those who beleive.
    Abdu was right when he said” by no means quran should be forced to anyone” it is a personal choice!

  • Abdu

    Thanks Shar1,
    I am 100% with you. let us have respect for each other! you have your religion and i have mine, after all no one is resposible for other’s way of life!
    peace to all

  • One must not form deep aversion about any concept until and unless one has tried and tested it. It appears that Islam is the only religon that receives undue dislike by all those people who might think that their choice of religon somehow is overshadowed by Islam.

    Is it not possible that such people understand neither their preferred idealogy and for sure, nor Islam. This sort of one sided judgment can only extends personal problems.

    • Mr Abbasi, I just finished the comment below but decided you need guidance.

      Your logic is erroneous (a nice way of saying stupid!). Your idea that one has to try a concept before judging it is silly. Does that include Christianity? Judism? LDS doctrine? Homosexuality? Pedofilia? Racism? Or are you just saying that because it sounds nice?

      You say that people shouldn’t judge others yet in case you haven’t noticed Muslims are not shy about judging and condeming others – but of course, Muslims don’t ever abide by rules they demand that others follow.

      Let me explain: To don’t need to be part of an ideology or group to condemn it. You study it and you look at what people do that follow that ideology. Just take a look at the news these last few years, or maybe you want to argue that what Muslims have nothing to do with islam? Maybe that “undue dislike” has something to do with discriminations, honor killings, forced marriages, wife-beating, bombs in streets and supermarkets, beheadings, women stoned after being raped, burning people alive, human rights abuses, lack of freedoms…. maybe…. Are you saying that people don’t have a right to dislike these things if they have not done them themselves?

      It is not the choice of a religion that is the problem, it is what people do that are part of that religion. You want the rest of the world to pretend that the things you do are not sanctioned by your religion and/or even have nothing to do with it when in fact they are permitted and even mandated in your holy writings.

      Let me put that in other words. If I were to read the Quran and hadith and find nothing put peace and love, and so even if some Muslims killed and committed evil, I would not condemn islam. The problem is that the Quran and traditions are full of hate and violence against non-Muslims (you know, those vile, evil infidels) so I can logically conclude that the hate and violence done by Muslims are part of islam. It gets worse. Not only is there hate and violence, Muslims want others to believe there isn’t. So they lie about it or pretend that words mean nothing or they say we are ignorant when we have read their own scriptures. If I could find a Muslim that would say, “yeah, Kactuz old man, the Quran has lots of problems in it and our prophet did some pretty bad stuff” then I would think there is hope. Aint gonna happen.

      This is not good. Worse yet, in the name of political correctness and multiculuralism, people in the west remain silent. So the evil grows and one day it will explode. There will be blood in the streets and good people will die. Notice I said ‘people’ and did not specific an religion, race or ideology. Islam will not change because Muslims refuse to be honest (or because it is perfect, as Abdu says).

      Kactuz

      PS: Mr. Abbasi… Of course if you tried Christianity or any other moral position that condems your faith (as you suggest so that you could then judge it), your ex-Muslim friends would have to kill you, wouldn’t they?
      Bummer!

  • So this threat continues. Good.

    First of all, Abdu, I don’t make a habit of defending any religion. Your “christianity has violent verses, too” defense is silly unless you are about to announce that you are now a Buddhist or Athiest. If one is violent and the other also, that would be the only logical, moral choice.

    Nevertheless, the difference between the Bible and Quran is that Chriatians do not consider anybody but jesus to be a role model. The Bible condemns Peter, Paul, David and Abraham (etc.) for their failings. Nobody considers the crusaders to be moral examples to follow. However, according to the ahadith, written by friends and followers of your dear prophet, Mohammud raided, plundered, enslaved men women and children, tortured, lied, let his men rape, murdered and even beat Aisha, his child-wife. Want references? Worse yet, all of these are explicitly permitted in the Quran. Comments?

    As to the “to read is to believe” idea, you have to be kidding. About 30% of the Quran makes no sense and the rest is difficult. There is no organization and it is full of contradicions and errors. And what about all those little exceptions that Mohammud put into the Quran for himself? Extra wives, put away wives, not keep his word, burn orchards, attack mosques, the blank check on moral failings,and so on. Isn’t that kind of suspicious? Or what about making himself a partner to allah? Hey, they split the loot (see book on ‘Spoils of war” in Quran). Doesn’t the Quran says that he who obeys the Prophet obeys Allah? So are they the same? It also says that Mohammad and Allah make decisions together (“when Allah and the prophet decide a matter….). Actually maybe the prophet is the senior partner because whenever there is a contradicion between that Allah says in the Quran and Mohammud says in the Ahadith, well allah loses (example: quran, pray 3 times day, Mohammad, pray 5 times, or Quran, no compulsion in religion, Mohammad, kill anyone that changes his religion).

    At least the Bible is great literature and (mostly) comprehensible. Believe me there is nothing like the Sermon on the Mount in the Quran.

    And so on. Enough for today.

    Kactuz

    PS: What? there is a section in the Quran on dividing up the spoils of war taken in jihad? I thought it was a religion of peace. I am shocked!
    PSS: And what about 9:111. Are you guys afraid?

    • JC

      Boy, you are an angry Man! wow

  • Abdu, are you aware that Christians do not follow old testement rules? so there go 3 of your 5 quotes. i won’t try to justify old testiment verses. As to the two other quotes:

    Luke 19:26-27 It is not jesus speaking. Dahhhhh. Look at verse 22. It is the master in the parable talking in case you didn’t even look before you cut and pasted.

    Matthew 10:34 The sword is a metaphor for conflict. Notice that jesus does not say to kill or to use the sword. He is saying that his gospel will cause conflict.

    I hope you are not thinking of comparing jesus (“I bring a sword”) with your prophet (murder, plunder, rape, slavery, torture, wife-beating, etc…) or Allah (amputate hands and feet, crucify, behead, cut off fingertips, pour boiling water over people, peel off skin while alive). Once again I will provide references and links to any of these, just ask – but you never asked before so why would you care now. I think you know these are true but you are in denial.

    Notice that I addressed your quotes. Notice that I did not try to justify the unjustifiable. FYI, I don’t go to church because I can’t stand 99% of the preachers/priests.

    For a few weeks now I have given you verse after verse referring to vile things in the Quran. I have said that your prophet did many evil things as recorded in your own traditions. You did not respond. You did not argue. You accepted them by default. You ignored my words and responded with silly, meaningless generalizations (“you are ignorant” “Islam is perfect” “The Quran is Wonderful”). You tried the “Your religion is just as bad” defense, which is both ilogical and wrong (there aint any religion as violent as islam, except for maybe the Astecs). In debate, if a statement is made, and not contested, it is considered accepted. So hate and violence is Ok for you and to justify it you look for the same in other ideologies.

    The problem with Muslims is they do not think. That and they are not used to reason and debate. Facts and even words from their own writings mean nothing to them.

    This is why things are going to get worse. This is why the future will not be nice. We have a barbaric ideology followed by people that refuse to think. Great! As if the planet didn’t have enough problems.

    You know, Abdu, If I were a follower of — lets say — the
    Big Carrot god and Bugs Bunny was his representative here on earth, and I found out in the Big Carrot book that Bugs killed, stole and raped to get his position, I would quit the Big carrot church and join the Porky Pig church, or maybe even the Yosemite Sam religion. Follow me?

    Let me say that this dialogue has been amusing but not difficult at all. No challenge. Too easy. Maybe it is because I am old, that I have a classical education and I was taught to question things.

    Well, I have one more comment to make here so I will end this one. Mr Abassi (above) needs some serious help with his logic.

    kactuz.

    • Shahida

      Mr. Kactuz…
      If your openion about Islam is true, how do you explain 20,000 converts per year in the US?
      thanks
      Shahida

      • Hey Shaida,

        Just came here from a good blog where I left a comment about islamophobia. I highly recommend Mo-ham-med’s work there. I don’t even think he will erase my comment (I have a feeling, and give the post an 82-18% chance to survive). Of course the post is old and nobody will read it. Here is the link:
        http://travellerwithin.blogspot.com/2009/08/seeking-readers-contribution-term-to.html

        Now to your comment.

        It is hard to get good reliable numbers on religion in the US. By law, one cannot ask about religious afiliation (we call it “separation of church and state”, fyi). I also know that Muslims have a tendency to inflate their numbers (It makes them feel good, I guess).

        My personal opinion is that it is either about right or maybe even a little low. There is no doubt that Islam is growing not only in the USA but around the word.

        As to your implied question, I say “so what?”. Just because people join a religion or political party that doesn’t mean anything except they joined a religion or political party. To me it makes no difference except it means more violence because all these people are saying “hey, I believe I was put here on earth to kill and be killed”. Well, that is what Allah and Quran 9:111 say, in case you don’t know.

        I don’t really care how many people think like you or are say the shahada. Even if I were the only non-Muslim on earth it wouldn’t make any difference to me. I know how to read, I understand words, and I make my decisions based upon reason, not emotions, not what somebody told me when I was young or even what others do or think.

        I hope that answered your question.

        Kactuz

        • Shahida

          kactuz,
          Read this, you might get some help!

          Why are so many Women converting to Islam ?

          According to “The Almanac Book of Facts”, the population increased 137% within the past decade, Christianity increased 46%, while Islam increased 235%.

          In a recent poll in the (US), 100,000 people per year in America alone, are converting to Islam. For every 1 male convert to Islam, 4 females convert to Islam, Why?

          It is Clear why Christians are converting.

          1. Christian Scientists are declaring the Koran is from God. Visit Here for Christian and atheist Scientists who convert to Islam and why: http://wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library/jesus-say/ch13.html

          2. The Christian Bishops and Priests are admitting the Bible has tensions. http://wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library/jesus-say/ch2.1.html

          3. Jesus is a Muslim: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Agora/4229/jam.html

          The question still remains, why are more women converting than men to Islam ?
          Perhaps they realize their Soul is worth the Factual Research.

          1. The Bible Convicts Women as the original
          Sinners, (ie. Eve picking from the forbidden
          tree){Genesis 2:4-3:24}. The Koran Clarifies it
          was Adam Not Eve {Qur’an 7:19-25}

          2. The Bible says “The Birth of a Daughter is a
          loss” {Ecclesiasticus 22:3}. The Qur’an says both
          are an Equal Blessing { Qur’an 42:49}

          3. The Bible Forbids Women from Speaking in
          church {I Corinthians 14:34-35}. The Qur’an says
          Women Can argue with the Prophet {58:1}

          4. In the Bible, divorced Women are Labeled as
          an Adulteress, while men are not {Matthew 5:31-32}. The
          Koran does Not have Biblical double standards
          { Qur’an 30:21}

          5. In The Bible, Widows and Sisters do Not
          Inherit Any Property or Wealth, Only men
          do{Numbers 27:1-11}The Koran Abolished this
          male greediness { Qur’an 4:22} and God Protects
          All.

          6. The Bible Allows Multiple Wives{I Kings 11:3}
          In The Koran, God limits the number to 4 only
          under certain situations (with the Wife’s
          permission)and Prefers you Marry Only One
          Wife{ Qur’an 4:3} The Koran gives the Woman
          the Right to Choose who to Marry.

          7. “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not
          pledged to be married and rapes her and they are
          discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty
          shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he
          has violated her. He can never divorce her as long
          as he lives” {Deuteronomy 22:28-30}

          One must ask a simple question here, who is
          really punished, the man who raped the woman or
          the woman who was raped? According to the
          Bible, you have to spend the Rest of Your Life
          with the man who Raped You.

          The Prophet Muhammad Says {Volume 9, Book
          86, Number 101} Narrated by Aisha:” It is
          essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the
          marriage)”.

          Would the Christian men Reading this prefer the
          Women they know to Be Christian or Muslim?

          8. The Bible also asks Women to wear veils as in
          Islam {I Corinthians 11:3-10}, this lowers the
          chance of rape, (God Forbid), see statistic link
          below.

          9. Women were given rights to Vote less than a
          100 years ago in the (US), while the Quran (42:38) gave
          Women Voting rights almost 1,500 years ago.

          10. Islam has unconfined Women and has given them
          the human right to reach for the sky. There have been
          Muslim Women Presidents through out the centuries,
          but to this date, the oppressive mentality of the
          men in the Western U.S.A. has stopped any Women from becoming
          Presidents in predominately Christian countries,
          while the Muslim countries have voted for and
          elected Female Presidents.

          Here is a list of previous Female Muslim leaders:

          Khadija bint Khuwaylid
          Aishah bint Abu Bakr
          Fatimah bint Muhammad
          Barakah
          Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan
          Rumaysa bint Milhan
          Umm Salamah
          Asma bint Abu Bakr
          Zaynab al-Ghazali
          Maryum Jameelah

          The comparison goes on and on, to hear from some of these Converts, including Nuns, and Many Famous People, visit here; http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/newmuslims/

          For more information and Statistics, visit here; http://www.jannah.org/sisters/

          • Nora

            Good Job Shahida.
            thanks

             
      • Nora

        Shaida,
        check out this one on youtube:
        converted2islam

  • JC

    Kactuz,
    Can you check this site and let us what you think?
    http://www.islam- guide.com
    thanks
    JC

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