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June 22, 2004

Season's Greetings

Memes never fully die now, thanks to the Internet. I'm sure the French Military Victories post is still showing up in the occasional mailbox, much to the disgust/delight of the = recipient, depending on whether they've seen it before, whether they haven't and, of course, whether or not they are French.

Every now and then a meme pops up in my mailbox that I haven't seen before, or haven't seen in a while. Case in point, the Eid stamp, which became mired in controversy after the 9/11 attacks.

Here's the stamp. (yes, the images are slow to load.)

The spittle-flecked-email-rant about it varies, but the basic structure of the missive can be found at the Urban Legends reference page on the stamp.

Dear Fellow Patriotic Americans,

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of PanAm 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 World Trade Center on 9/11/01.
REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks.

Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class holiday postage stamp.

I strongly urge you to REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp when purchasing your holiday 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. I also strongly urge you to pass this along to every Patriotic AMERICAN you know, whether by email or otherwise.

Turns out I've been boycotting that sucker all along, but that didn't really feel like enough. What's needed isn't an Eid stamp boycott, but rather an Eid stamp that people like the sender of the email above would buy. A stamp like this...

Which do you think would be more popular, come the holiday season?

Posted by Bigwig at June 22, 2004 05:01 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

I guess this version would be too obvious.

Posted by: SarahW at June 22, 2004 09:18 PM

I used those stamps for Christmas following 9/11. I have a bunch around, and still use them, especially when dropping a line to some of my buds in the Gulf. A couple of them are special forces operators - I'm pretty sure they get a hearty laugh out of the "Islam means peace" meme.

I'm a little worried, however; I'm running low. So I'm kind of hoping the government issues one with Mr. Johnson's, Mr. Il's, or Nick Berg's head on it. We could even include a nice recruiting slogan for the U.S. Army in it - something like a watermark of an M-1 tank, with the slogan "headed Te hran near you!"

Posted by: Blackavar at June 22, 2004 10:40 PM

Frith's sake, you deserve more than 3 comments for this bit of Photoshoppery.

Posted by: Adam Khan at June 26, 2004 07:40 PM

[from Geoff; not Elizabeth, my better half]

Sincerely, while I can understand the feelings that impelled the writer calling for the boycott to protest such a postage stamp, I can't help feeling myself that we may be inadvertently dancing to Bin Laden's tune if we fall at each other's throats over our different religions. After all, many of the Muslims here in America are here to get away from the kinds of fanatics who perpetrated the attacks the original writer cites in the first place. The Muslim communities who have laid down roots here in America are Americans too, and if Americans become divided and resentful of each other for any reason, Bin Laden has already gained a moral victory. Can we afford that?

Now, more than ever, when we are in a real war, Americans need to stick together. Try to remember the spirit that was here in New York City right after the attacks. We held together. We helped each other. There was the true greatness of America.

With respect, please let's not give Bin Laden the satisfaction of adopting his twisted outlook and initiating a virtual pogrom against any one religion, especially since all the world religions are represented by equally thriving, law-abiding communities throughout this precious country. Even President Bush -- no friend of Muslim terrorists! -- has warned us that a group of sick butchers are attempting to drag a perfectly respectable religion through the mud, and that it is up to the rest of us to see to it that they don't succeed. Once we fall into the temptation of pitting American communities against each other along religious lines, our precious way of life is threatened and we destroy ourselves and the glorious openness of our lives more effectively than any outside attacker ever can. The hijackers of 9/11 wanted to destroy our freedoms and everything we stand for when they attacked. We know they can never do that. And we also can not afford risking such a change amongst ourselves, risking the very same transformation of everything we live for and believe in that Bin Laden's hijacking of planes could not do.

It is the way of America to let the marketplace rule, and that is good. If the postage stamp commemorating the Eid holiday is purchased by those decent Americans who have adopted the Muslim faith, that is surely their right, and who are we that we should begrudge them that right? For one thing, should the mere number of adherents of any given faith measured against the population at large be the determinant of which Americans can be given the opportunity to commemorate their holy days and which ones cannot? By that yardstick, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Confucians -- none of these adherents who are also Americans should be given the opportunity to commemorate their holy days. Why? Simple. Because they are not Christians, who hold at least the plurality, if not the downright majority throughout most regions of this country! Yet, candidly, such thinking makes me, a practising Christian, uncomfortable, as I hope it does most readers here.

This country's Founders understood that, though Christians outnumber other believers in the United States, it was still important that, in a truly free nation, all religions should be freely practised. Once that is jeopardized, Bin Laden has won -- and we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.

Likewise, if customers fail to purchase this postage stamp in the requisite numbers, the law of the marketplace may again operate, and it may possibly be discontinued for lack of general popularity. Those would be the only circumstances under which I would feel comfortable with the stamp's being discontinued. I'd have no problem with that. The one thing that would be bad would be if arbitrary forces other than the simple operations of supply and demand -- the American way -- were to dictate the fate of this stamp.

I was acquainted with six of the people who perished in the Towers on September 11th. Please, in their memory, I ask that we not prevent fellow Americans from taking advantage of anything the marketplace offers them to celebrate the milestones of their faith.



Posted by: Geoff at November 10, 2004 08:54 PM
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