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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stamp hysteria

Oh no! Say it isn't so! See my response below.I have not edited the actual email much, only to make it more readable on my background. All punctuation, capitalization and fear-mongering has been preserved in its original form.

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Subject: Fwd: DON'T BUY IT AND DON'T USE IT !
                                    
                                              GOD BLESS YOU ALL
                          
Subject: FW: DON'T BUY IT AND DON'T USE IT !!!
 
   DON'T BUY IT AND DON'T USE IT !!!   REFUSE TO TAKE THEM ANYWHERE!   Don't let anyone sell them to you!
Apparently they think That putting hearts and butterflies on the new
Stamp will make most people not realize That the rest is Arabic and probably not
Something we want to support. 

New Stamp - the Second one!!!
This image is a larger version of the Eid Custom Postage product.

USPS
New 4
4-Cent Stamp Celebrates
A Muslim Holiday.
 
If There is only ONE thing you forward today.. Let It be this!


President Obama has directed the United States Postal Service to REMEMBER and HONOR the EID MUSLIM Holiday season with a new commemorative 44-Cent First Class Holiday Postage Stamp. 


REMEMBER
To adamantly & vocally BOYCOTT this stamp,
When you are purchasing your stamps at the post Office.

All you have to say Is 
"No Thank you, I do not want that Muslim Stamp on my Letters or any of my mail!"

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 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 9/11/2001!

REMEMBER all The AMERICAN lives that were lost in those Vicious MUSLIM Attacks!


Pass This along to Every 
Patriotic
American 
that You know and get the word Out!   
Honor The United States of America.
  
 =====================
 My response:

I have to say this first- I'm not mad at the forwarder at all-- just the creators of the forward and hysteria. I should probably leave this alone or delete it or whatever, but I won't....

I don't know if you looked at this before forwarding... but I have to chime in. I don't mean any offense, but knowing some Arabs and Muslims as I do, I have to say this stamp is nothing to worry about. Please forgive me if I seem a little peeved. I'll add my piece (since you've given me yours) and then I'll be fine.

First, Obama didn't actually tell the post office to issue this stamp. This is another attempt at trying to get people to believe Obama's a "closet Muslim" and lying about being Christian. See snopes: http://www.snopes.com/politics/stamps/eidstamp.asp

Second, it seems like a pretty crazy, big leap, don't you think? It's Arabic, so don't support it? I have a New Testament in Arabic. This is a pretty broad generalization- don't buy it 'cause of the Arabic. Things like this foster hatred of the unknown and "the other." It tries to tell you- you don't have anything in common with people who speak Arabic- don't bother to translate the script- let's judge them wholesale on their language (or color of their skin...didn't we get over that? No to that too, huh?)- and oppose and boycott whatever they "support".

The tone of this thing is pretty vicious also. "Remember the Muslim bombings," with Muslim in all caps. And if you didn't get the message, the last line implores you to remember all the American lives lost in vicious Muslim attacks. The email doesn't mention that our good friend Israel had some very important knowledge about the Marine barracks incident, but didn't share it due to the nature of the give and take relationship- we give and they take.

From the forward: "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."(??!!) MANY nationalities died on 9/11 (is that what they're talking about?), MANY members of MANY religious groups- they were all Americans (or maybe on visas, but you get my point). This line aims to divide Americans. This forward is a slap in the face to Americans. I'd rather boycott emails like this (but I think commenting might do more good- or at least I won't be silently complicit). Muslims serve in our armed forces and Muslims died on 9/11, alongside white, black, German, Swedish, Hispanic, Jewish, Italian, etc Americans. This makes it sound as if this stamp honors terrorists (?!)-- and Arab Americans or Muslim Americans either do not exist or cannot possibly function in a democracy or not be a terrorist in general.

On a practical note, I seriously doubt you would be offered this stamp first or as the only option at a post office anyway. When you go to the counter and ask to buy stamps, they normally just hand out the flag or bell forever stamps- or whatever is on them. If you don't want the Eid stamp on your letters, we do have the option to pick something else. At my small local post office, we usually have 5 or 6 choices and online you have ~100. And in the little vending machines, I have only seen the bell and flag type. I seriously doubt post offices will force this particular stamp on you or require you to have it on your letters.  :)  My question is--will they use this stamp to "track" Muslims? I'm joking (I think).

I take major issue with using this stamp being unpatriotic (and having all those American flags at the bottom of such a hateful message). That's ridiculous! We believe in freedom of religion, do we not? And God doesn't force Christians to obey; that is our choice (there are definitely consequences for the wrong choice... but my point is we aren't forced, we choose). This is a right as enshrined in law as our right to assemble and demonstrate, to speak our mind, to bear arms.

Sure, don't buy the stamp if you don't want it, but to pressure (or harass) others not to buy it or the post office not to sell it because you don't celebrate the holiday represented on the stamp goes against what America is all about- or should be. Our soldiers died to protect THAT right.

Where's the outrage about Hanukkah (or anything else that has appeared on a stamp that's not Christian)?? I'm sure there's a stamp for that and Christians don't celebrate that either. To be fair we should be making a scene at post offices about that, too. Otherwise, this is just about people thinking all Muslims are terrorists. I don't think that is too big of a leap. I thought we were beyond ignorance like that!

Moving on to more facts... This stamp is for the celebration or Ramadan or the Eid feast, not anything remotely associated with terrorism or any particular country. It is not unpatriotic. Ramadan emphasizes some points Christians and Americans would do well to consider, actually- what it means to be hungry, fasting, prayer, devotion, being kind, not arguing, refraining from foul speech, etc. Is this really something to get upset about or make a scene about (going in and shouting, unprovoked- "I do not want that Muslim stamp on any of my mail")? I guess you certainly have that right, but especially if you are a Christian, you should think about your motivation for doing that, how you might accomplish the same in a more self-controlled, respectful manner, and what others are going to learn from that- a Biblical concept or something opposite.

If you take issue with this as a Christian, I can maybe see that. Maybe. It's a Muslim holiday. Christians don't celebrate it. But- no need to hate it and hate Arabic and stage boycotts and and go into post offices demanding stamps with some "American" writing on it. The solution would be simply not to buy it, not to "adamantly and vocally boycott" and make a big deal about it. It's not applicable to you. Must everything be? Like the Hanukkah one. So what? We have the freedom not to buy it. Choose the flowers. Or flag. Or Elvis. Chinese New Year*. Latin Music Legends. Whatever floats your boat.
*Do be advised that the Chinese New Year one does have Chinese characters on it ;)

It's pretty American to have over 100 choices of what to mail your letters with. It's a letter for crying out loud! If there was only one design, I'd definitely think we were moving towards socialism. ;)


Edits:
-->I was so caught off guard by this one for whatever reason, I didn't mention that whether they're talking about 9/11 or Iraq (Americans dying), my points are basically the same except for the fact that I don't believe soldiers in Iraq are fighting for freedom or that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. This may be clear to most, but this particular post may not have been clear.


-->I also didn't mention the differences between Islam and what terrorists practice (those who claim to kill in the name of Islam). For the most part, terrorism is political. People have a problem with foreign occupation and oppression (go figure). I think it helps them (justification, recruiting) to bring religion into it, but I certainly wouldn't inform myself on Islam from watching or listening to a terrorist who claims to kill in the name of God (in any religion).


** I didn't go into these probably because the main problem was more broad. It's definitely not that I think these issues aren't important. When I looked back at this, I felt I should have addressed them, though.





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