Stamp Rage

 

Another ridiculous email forward.  I received this one on 12/04/03.  My comments below.  --E.M.

 

 

Can you believe this? 

 

DON'T BUY IT!

 

How ironic is this?!  They don't even believe in Christ and they're getting their own Christmas stamp.  But don't dream of posting the ten commandments on federal property.  

 

 

New USPS Stamp

 

 

This one is impossible to believe.  Scroll down for the text.

 

If there is only one thing you forward today... let it be this!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military

barracks in Saudi Arabia!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American

Embassies in Africa!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!

 

REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001!

 

REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were

lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

 

Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the MUSLIM Eid holiday season with a commemorative first class

holiday postage stamp.

 

REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp when purchasing your stamps at the post office.    

 

To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.

 

REMEMBER to pass this along to every patriotic AMERICAN you know.    

 

*     *     *

 

Re: Stamp Rage

 

C'mon, people.  "Muslims" in general did not commit these terrorist acts.  A radical political organization called Al Qaeda did.  Each of these attacks was committed by Al Qaeda or a like-minded extremist organization. 

 

Al Qaeda represents the Muslims of the world about as well as the Nazi party or the Spanish Inquisition represented Christianity.  Such despicable perversions of humanity crop up in difficult historical times.  And just as many Christian Germans fell into a patriotic support of Hitler, so many misguided Muslims have fallen to supporting Bin Laden.

 

The great thing about America is that we recognize the dignity of the different religious traditions.  That the Postal Service can print stamps in honor of different religious holidays is indicative of our strength and humanity.  We in America can do it, but if the Saudi government were to print a stamp showing Jesus on the cross with an Arabic inscription "Son of God" there would be an uproar.  We in America can handle different religious traditions, but the Saudis--to take one example--still cannot.  This is something in which we are ahead of the Saudis: they need to learn from us.  We, however, have no reason to begin to imitate them in their bigotry.

 

So it is unfortunate that some Americans think we should start insisting it is wrong to show respect for anything that is not Christianity.  Why return to the fold of the world's bigots?

 

As for comparing the newly issued stamp with the controversy over putting the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, it isn't quite apt.  One should rather compare the Muslim stamp or a Jewish holiday stamp with the Christmas stamps the Postal Service usually issues.

 

Again: It is not the world's Muslims who committed these terrorist acts, but various extremist organizations.  Al Qaeda and like organizations function by radicalizing disgruntled and lost young men.  As most Muslim scholars acknowledge, the rise of these groups in the Muslim world is a serious problem, a mark of shame on Islam.  But both Muslim and Western scholars agree: the recent rise of Muslim fundamentalism is to be understood in political terms rather than in terms of the Koran or religious traditions.  Most Muslims can see that the fundamentalists are bad Muslims: they have betrayed what was true in their faith just as surely as the Catholic Church betrayed the truth of the Gospels when it burned Jews and others on the pyres of the Inquisition.

 

Hating Muslims will get us nowhere.  Rather we should hate terrorists and bigotry of all kinds.  We should fight those who would manipulate scripture--be it the Koran or the New Testament--for violent political ends.

 

Eric Mader,

12/04/03

 

 

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