Bravo to the U.S. Postal Service for reissuing the Eid stamp in its Holiday Celebrations Series. For Muslims, Eid is a joyous occasion - a day of forgiveness, fellowship, brotherhood and unity.
I was driven to write this letter after I received a very disturbing, hate-filled chain e-mail. The e-mail listed a number of acts of violence attributed to radical Muslim groups. Its author - anonymous, of course - went on to call for a boycott of the "Eid stamp," claiming that "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."
Upon further research, I discovered this e-mail was initially circulated in 2002. It greatly disturbs me that such a closed-minded, hateful document has been circulating through cyberspace for five years.
Remember that an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims live on this earth, the great majority of whom are loving, peaceful individuals. As Dr. Ihsan Bagby, associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky, said, "Islam is a serious moral and spiritual way of life. When (people) get past all the stereotypes, they see a very organized, very beautiful religion."
[NOTE: Bagby is a member of CAIR’s national board.]
I am glad to see that the Eid stamp has joined the Holiday Celebrations collection. I, for one, will happily purchase this stamp - along with others in the series celebrating Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa and Christmas - this season as I try to see the beauty in all faith traditions at this blessed time of year.
I am grateful to my faith community - the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury (uudanbury.org) - for encouraging me to find meaning in the teachings of many spiritual paths and for giving me the courage to express my feelings in a public forum such as this.