Instead of focusing on what I want to be when I grow up,
I've decided just to focus on not growing up.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
A Mosque is a Church is a Temple
Well, I guess before I start, I should say that, yes, I am aware that most of the people who do ingest this thoughtfully will be the ones who really don't need to. And the people that really should will have already bailed at the word "mosque" in the title.
My mom and I were just talking about an email she'd received from a camping buddy - one of those nutso emails about (in this case) boycotting the post office, president, etc. because of this coming-soon-to-an-envelope-near-you stamp.
The email expressed all the horrible things that Muslims do and how by approving the printing of this stamp, President Obama was essentially giving his stamp of approval (okay, that was funny) on all things terroristic.
Mama was wondering how to respond to such things and we came up with some ideas (the best of which I'll save for the end of this email).
Now....let me express my first concern. When someone sends you an email about a stamp that says the said stamp has Muslim Writing on it...you should automatically pause and think, "Muslim writing?" Muslim is a religion, not a form of writing. The writing on this stamp is Islam Caligraphy or Sanskrit. Starting your argument with "Muslim writing" is like starting your argument with "I'm a total moron." Not very convincing.
When I hear people bantering about the relationship of Muslims and terrorism (and I'm feeling brave), I ask, "Do you actually know any Muslims?" I'm not denying the effects of terrorism. I watched in horror on 9/11/01 as my heart broke into as many pieces as the Trade Towers. I wanted someone, anyone really, to pay. But you cannot blame a whole religion on the actions of the few. It would be like denouncing the whole country of Ireland on behalf of the handful of Catholic Priests who got too friendly with their altar boys.
A few years ago - I went to Istanbul on vacation. This is a predominantly Muslim city. And guess what I found out? It's totally normal. I was very curious as to whether every woman would be burka'ed or if all those standing around me would suddenly drop to their knees when the Call to Prayer sounded - but it wasn't like that at all.
As with every religion - people practiced at their own level - some fully clothed the traditional Muslim way, others not so much. The Call to Prayer sounded five times a day - only as a reminder that we should all take time to slow down and medidate - not to prep for a jihad.
And all those scary Mosques? If you go back through history, these buildings have done a little bit of everything depending on what religion was most prominent when. Today, they are mostly Mosques. In the past, they were churches. Or Temples. They are really just buildings (beautiful buildings) where people can come together for their faith.
Now, back to the stamps. While I don't believe in boycotting a Sanskrit stamp that translates to "Enjoy your holidays...," I will be boycotting a few others:
I do not support Chinese Dragons.
Polar Bears sometimes eat cute baby seals.
I will no longer support them.
Now the Post Office has to rub in my singlehood? Fail
Bill Mauldin (who the hell is that?) has an eery smile.
And, as promised...the winner for my mom's response:
Per UrbanLegends.com...this whole "President Obama approves Muslim Stamp" thing? Is just that - an urban legend. Stamps commemorating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan have been coming out since 2001 - not every year - but more than once. Obama didn't approve it, the Post Office did.