Eid Stamp Continues to Provoke Bigots
by Sheila Musaji
Updates at bottom of article
Once again in 2005 - 4 years after the release of the Eid stamp by the U.S. Postal Service, we have ignorant people questioning why we should have such a stamp. This is not new, there have been those who compared issuing an Eid stamp to issuing a swastika stamp during WWII, and those who have called for a boycott of the stamp.
Why should we have any stamps honoring any holidays? Simply, because they are holidays celebrated by some Americans, and hopefully honored by those of us who celebrate other holidays.
There are many different Christmas stamps - so many that they need not be documented. There is a Hanukkah stamp. There is a Kwanzaa stamp. There is a Chinese lunar New Year stamp - in fact there is a whole series of them. There is a Thanksgiving stamp. There is no Halloween stamp, but there is a petition requesting one to be added. There is even a petition to add a Hindu Divali stamp.
Why should we have any stamp honoring the Muslim holiday of Eid? We should have such a stamp because there are at least 6 to 10 million Muslims in the U.S., and this means that Muslims are the second or third largest religious community in the U.S. (depending on the actual population number). American Muslims lobbied for the stamp and were suscessful. I hope that the effort to have a Diwali stamp is just as successful.
Instead, let me ask “why should we not” have such a stamp?
The only reasons that come to mind are that American Muslims are not realӔ Americans with the same rights as those of other denomination; that muslims have nothing to be proud of within their faith and customs; that we are at war with the entire religion of Islam to the point that even its joyous celebrations are taboo. I pray no one believes any of this to be true.
Since we already have stamps celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. and these are holidays of particular religions, then we must decide - either no religious holidays will be honored, or any may be.
I for one will continue to buy some of each of these to honor all!
UPDATE November, 2007
Another “patriotic email” this year - “THEY DON’T EVEN BELIEVE IN CHRIST AND THEY’RE GETTING THEIR OWN CHRISTMAS STAMP,” sez the genius who composed the nationalistic screed. Um,excuse me, Mr. or Ms. “Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men,” Eid isn’t Christmas. Look it up. It’s a Muslim holiday. “Eid” is not Arabic for “Merry Christmas.” REMEMBER THE AMERICANS WHO HAVE DIED IN TERRORIST ATTACKS! BOYCOTT THIS STAMP!”
UPDATE November, 2008
The crazies are out again. This year somehow connecting the translation of Eid Mubarak and Barack Obama’s name as if there is some sort of conspiracy going on here. Read this and weep or laugh http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/20/664402/-USPS-Eid-stamp-subtle-salute-to-President-elect
Since we are in Ramadan and people will be sending out Eid cards soon, this topic comes to the top of the list of non-issues that some folks just must waste time on. This year, Eric Snyder of the Tennessee Leaf Chronicle reports that: “Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper forwarded an e-mail this morning that urges “patriotic Americans” to protest a U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating two Islamic holidays. ... Piper sent the e-mail to every City Council member, every department head, and numerous other city employees, friends and family members.”
The article further notes: “I don’t see any reason why it would be inappropriate,” Piper said, adding that he thought the e-mail was neither anti-Muslim or anti-Islamic. “I was surprised at a stamp being developed, and would have thought others would be, too,” he said.”
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 is offensive.
Just received a note that CAIR has sent a copy of the Qur’an to the Mayor.
Loonwatch has an excellent article How to defeat hate with 42 cents on the most current email making the rounds. They suggest that all those who are opposed to such hate purchase the stamps.
This year the Eid stamp will be a “forever” stamp, meaning that you can purchase the stamp at the current postage price of 44 cents, and still be able to use the stamp to mail a letter even if the postage goes up in the future.
Of course, the hate site Bare Naked Islam posted an article titled “44-CENT ISLAM STAMP IS FOREVER. Thankfully, the Muslim-in-Chief won’t be” opening with: Make sure you don’t get stuck with these when you buy a roll of Forever stamps. Demand the ‘NON-TERRORIST’ version. The reader comments are shocking in the level of prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance they display. BNI is also behind the times, since this identical stamp was first released as a forever stamp in 2011.
Eid Stamp Controversy, Aziz Poonawall http://cityofbrass.blogspot.com/2007/10/eid-stamp.html
New Stamp Celebrates Eid, John Marlowe http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/zakariya_mohamed_new_stamp_celebrates_eid/
No questions for the Christmas or Hanukka stamps, Ray Hanania http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1253198167312&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Rednecks and the Eid Stamp, Svend White http://akramsrazor.typepad.com/islam_america/2009/09/eid-stamp.html
The Story of the USPS Eid Stamp, Shahed Amanullah http://blog.beliefnet.com/ramadan/2007/10/the-story-of-the-usps-eid-stam.html
by courtesy & 2005 The American Muslim
Published originally at The American Muslim : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”
Sheila Musaji is the editor of The American Muslim
first published 11/1/2005