A Disassociated Press Report, September 13, 2004, Washington, D.C.
By Francis Rabbe
A well-known pro-Al Qaeda website yesterday posted a letter in muted praise of a 9/11 commemorative stamp soon to be released by the United States Postal Service. The letter, signed by a group claiming association with the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah movement, said the commemorative stamp demonstrated that Americans "were beginning to recognize the awesome might of the hand of Allah."
"The new stamp is a beautiful tribute to the great power of Allah," the letter states.
An image of the artwork to be used for the stamp appeared on the page above the letter.
The text described the scene in the stamp as showing the "first blow" in what will be the "ultimate and certain defeat of the corrupt infidels."
"The hands of Allah are open. He has just dropped his valiant warriors onto the evil metropolis," the text states. "The clouds of smoke show the destruction the brave martyrs wreak on the new Sodom. The infidel flag is burning with the unquenchable flames of Allah's wrath."
The letter also mentions the bald eagle seen on the stamp.
"The eagle frowns with sadness, but can do nothing," the text reads. "The flames of justice burn the feathers off the back of its head as the Towers of Vice fall into rubble."
The writers claim that the foolishness of Americans is shown by the fact that the artist attempts to represent Allah. Artistic representations of Allah are strictly forbidden in Islamic societies as they are seen to approach idolatry.
"The infidels foolishly try to show Allah, as if his hands were as the hands of men," the letter states. "Their understanding has been weakened by their centuries of venal corruption and atheism. They have sinned against the Holy One with their brush even as they struggle to depict his wrath. How can they hope to prosper with such foolish and evil hearts?"
Clarence Spaight, current Inspector General of the United States Postal Service, said that the Jemaah Islamiyah letter showed a gross misunderstanding of the intended meaning of the stamp, but would not comment on whether or not the postal service was considering not issuing the stamp given the possibility of such misunderstandings.
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