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.