City of Brass

City of Brass


terror mail: the Eid Stamp

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Mayor of Clarksville, Tennessee sent out an email recently, urging “all patriotic Americans” to protest that singular threat to Western civilization, the Eid Stamp:

Mayor Johnny Piper did not add any comments of his own to the e-mail, The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reported. The e-mail calls the stamp “a slap in the face” to U.S. victims of “Muslim terrorist attacks.”

The mayor forwarded the e-mail to city council members, department heads and to a city e-mail list that goes to every employee with an e-mail account.

Piper defended his actions. He said the e-mail is not anti-Muslim and he forwarded it to provide “information.”

The TN press has more details, in which Mayor Piper explains his thought processes further:

“I was surprised at a stamp being developed, and would have thought others would be, too,” he said. He added that he did not know what the stamp was commemorating. Piper also said he was struck by the reminder of several terrorist attacks against Americans.

“I read it and thought about the bombings of our buildings, of our national buildings,” Piper said. “In my mind, it presented an image of mass death at the hands of Muslims.”

He added later, “I don’t believe, just for the record, that all Muslims are linked together with radical Muslims that are out to harm Americans … I have several good Muslim friends.”

The e-mail repeatedly refers only to “Muslims,” and does not use any adjectives such as “radical.”

Versions of the email, which has been making the rounds for years, have been repeatedly debunked before, but it still persists. I’ve blogged extensively about the history of the Eid stamp, the controversy that accompanied it when it was introduced (mostly from conservative Republicans), and the defense of the stamp by President Bush and Speaker Hastert. In a nutshell, the stamp was introduced on September 1st 2001, ten days before the 9-11 attacks, during the Bush Administration. Mayor Piper joins a long list of conservative politicians who have no objection to stamps commemorating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, even teh Chinese New year – but a stamp devoted to the muslim holiday of Eid is singled out as a threat, requiring response from “patriotic” Americans?

Related: Sheila Musaji at The American Muslim has been tracking the controversies related to the Eid Stamp over the years.



  • Carol Goodwin

    If indeed this stamp is still available, I feel it is being rubbed in the faces of patriotic Americans since I can never find any U S stamps repeated so often. I used to buy a stamp with a yellow rose on them because I am a native Texan but they quit making them and have not brought them back. I don’t believe this yellow rose stamp was offensive to anyone yet I could not purchase them any longer. So why would our country repeatedly produce a stamp that celebrates EID?? The Muslim world certainly would never produce a Christmas stamp or an Easter Stamp. Think about it!

  • Your Name

    How conventiently this argument has been used or abused- ‘The Muslim world certainly would never do this or that then why should US of America do such?’ You consider US of A to be beacon of light, leader of free world and icon of democracy and on a far more superior moral ground to others and then you suddenly stoop low to compare US of A with such countries ! I know Muslim world certainly would never produce then please let us know which countries in the world produce Christmas stamp ? (maybe Israel, China – since US of A produces Stamps of Hannuka and Chinese year, they respond to it, is it not!)

  • Sam Hasan

    Make G-d’s Peace and Blessings be on you all. Take a deep breath
    and” ask yourself “what are you ranting and raving about?
    Peace

  • William A. Scheiderich

    EID is the festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer. We honor EID just like we honor Easter (on a religious basis – not just the Easter Bunny) and Passover. To further discredit “S” (who should be brave enough to sign his name), the USA was not founded on Judeo-Christian values. It was founded on Christian values only, & only certain flavors of Christianity.
    Our Constitution was originally intended only for white, male landholders. But we have always been a nation of inclusion, not exclusion. This bozo sounds like a white supremacist. While his statements are true, it’s like saying that the McVey clown we executed for killing 168 (white) people in Oklahoma City represents all white people and Malcolm X represents all black people. His diatribe doesn’t hold any water with me.
    I speak with authority on this because I have been there & done that -& am getting ready to go back & do it again. If “S” really hates Muslims this much, then he needs to get off his soft, lily-white ass in his suburban bunker & volunteer for the military to help contain radical Muslims. But the military won’t have him, he’s not good enough.

  • Positive-Thinking

    Well said William A. Scheiderich
    The Mayor needs to see a psychaitrist. He’s loosing it. He’s labelling a gesture of goodwill as act of invoking hatred.
    The world knows the truth about the so called terrorist attacks. Islam got nothing to do with it.
    I won’t waste much breath on idiots like him.

  • Nabiyah

    We are in a time and process of constant transition and growth. We (all peoples of the planet) have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to our neighbors, to extend our vision beyond common sight and understanding. American culture connotes a strong embrace of cultural diversity. Albeit the US does provide a platform for such an experience, not everyone has arrived. Many of our citizens are still in a phase of tolerance rather than acceptance. As an introspection of our inner-selves, it would be beneficial to realize how we speak and express ourselves (body language, usage of terms, phrasing of ideas, etc.) sheds light on the psychological recesses of our subconscious minds. We (all people) have our moments when we make loose, somewhat benign statements, that we do not equate to a real issue. However, our need to trivialize and justify our actions or ways of thinking, lends evidence to our consciousness, as least to some level, of its inappropriateness. This is true, though we may not be fully aware of all the layers of emotion that pad our conscious thinking surrounding the subject(s) at hand.
    I have pasted some of Mayor Piper’s comments shared above… “I was surprised at a stamp being developed, and would have thought others would be, too.” He added that he did not know what the stamp was commemorating. Piper also said he was struck by the reminder of several terrorist attacks against Americans.
    “I read it and thought about the bombings of our buildings, of our national buildings,” Piper said. “In my mind, it presented an image of mass death at the hands of Muslims.” Wow, not at the hands of Muslim radicals, but Muslims. This is a very irresponsible statement. I wonder if he feels the same upset about home-brewed terrorism on our own soil when he sees a Christian stamp. Millions died during the TransAtlantic/American Slave Trade, in the name of being a “good” Christian. After slavery many continued to die, churches were burned and churches are still being burned by clan groups that claim to be good, God-Fearing Christians. Is Mayor Piper reminded of those horrors and injustices every time he sees a symbol of Christianity? I hope not because both responses would be equally as ignorant. You cannot label a people or a faith based on a few.
    He went on to mention… “I don’t believe, just for the record, that all Muslims are linked together with radical Muslims that are out to harm Americans … I have several good Muslim friends.” Again, all these statements are indicative of unresolved cultural/religious issues regarding the Muslim community, as well as his ignorance as to what an American is.
    There are several things that I would like to examine with you and your audience.
    ~ There is no country called Islam
    ~ There is no country called Muslim
    ~ A Muslim simply means: One of who is of peace. It also refers to one who has ascribed to the beliefs of Islam.
    ~ A Christian/Buddhist/Jew/Hindu/Muslim etc. can be an American born citizen of the US, a naturalized citizen of the US, a resident of the US or a resident/citizen (naturalized or born) of any other nation. Your religious or spiritual indoctrination/affiliation does not define your citizenship/country of allegiance.
    ~ An American is anyone who is born within the United States of America or became a naturalized citizen through the process of US Immigration. These are legal terms. However, I personally view legal residents as Americans as well, since they have chosen to be a part of our national makeup.
    The term American and the term Muslim are not mutually exclusive. I point these things out because these distinctions are tantamount to how many of us tend to take varioius ideas (independent and codependent) and blend them together as one. This soupish-like thinking is really the overlapping of unresolved emotional issues which distort our view of the world and ourselves. We should all be careful with such thinking, as these displaced perceptions only exacerbate our personal wounds.
    Without revisiting the specifics of Mayor Piper’s feelings/thoughts of disdain, I question why he refers to the Muslim community as a whole, both American and those of other nations, rather than that of the radicals, which he only references when defending his bigoted thinking. Piper goes on to say, (paraphrased) that he does not link “all” Muslims to the radicals. However, his protests and urgency speak of Muslims as a whole. Piper also stated that he has “good” friends that are Muslims, if that is true, then I pose these questions: Why wouldn’t you speak with your Muslim friends to learn more about Eid before circulating such a profoundly damaging and misinformed email? Why would you, a man of presumed intelligence, fail to research the history of the stamp before purporting that it was ordered under Obama’s administration, when in fact is was under George W. Bush?
    As mayor, one should be careful how they express themselves to others. The position of mayor alone, illustrates an ability to influence others. Therefore, the perceptions and perspectives of such an influence can be pivotal in infusing or defusing a situation or the spread of an idea.
    Mayor Piper’s reaction is disturbing and shameful. However, his unmindful response is not uncommon. We are all human and we all make mistakes. However, certain positions as we know, says that you are capable of exercising discernment beyond the common mind and therefore express an ability to lead in a particular area. Mayor Piper, being a public official, has assumed a certain amount of responsibility. He is not only responsible for representing himself as a man, but he is also a representative of his city, and on a larger scale he is representing America. A mayor should be a figure that illustrates higher thinking and a viable interest in honoring public policy. With respect to this situation Mayor Johnny Piper has seriously failed himself and his public.
    To be clear the “….singular threat to Western civilization…” and the world at large is FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). Fear breeds bigotry, prejudice, ignorance, intolerance, hatred, etc.
    I invite all of you reading this to explore your feelings, to be present in the moment and to identify the truth and relativity of your beliefs. These type of stories are simply mirrors for our own inner truths. Let us use this example to make higher, healthier choices where we too, can oftentimes fail.
    Namasté
    Nabiyah

  • Abambagibus

    In the imaginary world of the peaceful ones who clandestinely wish it were so, not a single wisely mutually inclusive Arab Muslim complained when the singly exclusive phenomenon of the Arabian Easter stamp occurred. Those imbued with the Christian spirit, who deem Eid to be un-Christian, are evil in the minds of Muslims. Those imbued with the Muslim spirit, who deem Easter to be un-Muslim, are good in the minds of Muslims. To these, the former are spiritually stupid, the latter spiritually wise.
    I am sure there are those who consider me stupid for mentioning this.

  • Gery Allen

    Ironic, Isn’t it ??
    Here we have the self proclaimed “Religion of Peace” whose Koran demands that all non Muslims be converted, enslaved or killed.
    Sure — let’s have a US Postage Stamp to honor this “religion” – what a joke !!!
    In the Muslim Religion, Bombers of innocent passengers on airlines are treated as national heroes – terrorists are revered – subversives and suicide killers are martyrs!! — This is no religion – it’s a “cult” !!

  • shinelightunderbed

    Ain’t it great to be in the presence of someone who believes that a postage stamp honoring a religious holiday that is taken by thousands of American citizens is not anything more than a virtual terrorist statement.
    And ain’t it great to recognize that the voices raised against it NOW, in 2009, don’t make any comments about the fact that the stamp has been around for eight years already.
    And ain’t it strange that the voices raise themselves against a religion whose name means Peace and urge for action against that religion.
    Sure, there are people who claim Islam as their faith who bomb and maim, who want to kill Christians and Americans. Just as there are people who claim Christianity as their faith who want to wipe our Muslims, who want to kill all Arabs, and convert others to Christianity.
    In my mind, there are good and bad on both sides. And the bad ones of each side have more in common with each other than with anyone else. Ain’t THAT strange? Nope.
    The wonderful thing, the really wonderful thing, is that the GOOD ones of each side likewise have more in common with each other than they do with the bad ones.
    Peace, brothers and sisters.

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