The Free Congress © Commentary:
The Eid Stamp: Why It Deserves A Huge Protest
Recently, a newspaper reporter called the Free Congress Foundation to inquire about our efforts against the Eid Stamp. The story has not been printed yet, but the interviewer appeared to believe that the Free Congress Foundation had made a huge commotion last year over the issuance of a tiny 34-cent stamp.
The U.S. Post Office decided to issue the stamp last year after an intensive lobbying campaign by the well-funded Islamic lobby in Washington and their allies within the Republican Party. The stamp's purpose is to honor the two primary festivals of the Islamic calendar. It was issued just before September 11th.
Since then, the Post Office has decided to reissue the Eid Stamp and the price has risen by three cents, an increase that has been applied to other postage stamps as well.
I will have to trust the basic fairness that should be expected of the journalist who called and spoke to Free Congress staff members to ensure this story receives the serious treatment that it deserves. As you and I both know, that does not always prove to be the case. But there is a serious story occurring that many in the establishment news media are unwilling to recognize. As a matter of fact, if more in the news media did their jobs right and reported the real story, then we would be talking about much more than the stamp.
The story is this: We are not at war with a gang of terrorists. Al Qaeda is not the Jesse James gang with Arabic surnames. It is not even that we are at war with Islam. Rather, Islam is at war against us.
The sooner Americans recognize this fact then the safer we will be as a nation.
I have had much good to say about President Bush in recent months. But one thing that concerned me before September 11th and concerns me even more now is his administration's constant promotion of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance just like Judaism or Christianity.
It is neither. That is why my colleague, Bill Lind, and I decided to urge the leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to have the stamp be withdrawn from circulation, overprinted with the image of the World Trade Towers, and then reissued. The effort went nowhere, but the case for doing so remains clear in my mind because symbols matter.
Would our country have issued a swastika flag stamp in 1941? Would our country have issued a hammer and sickle stamp in 1955?
The answer is no on both counts. Actually, a flag stamp issued by our government featuring Nazi Germany's swastika or the Soviet Union's hammer and sickle would have been unthinkable.
That is why we raised the issue of the Eid. We wanted to encourage debate about what Islam really stands for and why we have good reason not to honor the religion. As a nation, we still need to have that debate.
This is very hard for most Americans to understand, but it needs to be said over and over again.
Islam at its core is hostile to the West and the values that comprise the Judeo-Christian tradition, including the emphasis on tolerance and peace that many in the establishment are now so eager to promote as being the true values of Islam.
There are many Muslims who are peaceful, but the fact is that the core of the religion itself is not peaceful.
Free Congress Foundation has issued several monographs that make this very point including the one that I co-authored with Bill Lind: Why Islam is a Threat to America and the West. We use actual quotes from the Qur'an and other Islamic documents to demonstrate the hostility of the religion toward what it considers "unbelievers," which include Christians and Jews.
Here are some of those quotes from the Qur'an:
Sura 9:1-6: ...fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every strategem (of war). Sura 9:29-31: Forbid those who believe not in God nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle (Mohammed), nor acknowledge the religion of truth (Islam), (even if they are) of the people of the Book (Christians and Jews), until they pay the jizya (poll tax on non-Islamics) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Sura 5:36-38: The punishment of those who wage war against God and his Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land.
Our adjunct scholar, Robert Spencer, has noted in the monographs he has written for Free Congress Foundation (An Introduction to the Qur'an; Women and Islam; An Islamic Primer; and Islam and the West) that the Judeo-Christian tradition as it has evolved does not sanction violence and intolerance in the manner that important Islamic texts do, including the Qur'an, which Muslims take to be the literal words of Allah himself. Spencer has said that many Muslims are not violent, but as long as those texts are to be taken literally by believers, then there will be violence committed by Islamics against non-believers.
That hostility against Christians and Jews is taking place in the world today, not just with 9/11 and Bali, but in the Sudan, in Nigeria, and on the West Bank. Our own State Department describes the area where the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil intersect as a "focal point for Islamic extremism in Latin America."
All those nations are discovering how widespread among Muslims is the opinion expressed long ago by the ambassador to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sa'id Raja'I-Khorassani: that the idea of universal human rights was "a Judeo-Christian invention," foreign to Islam.
President Bush and too many in our government have it wrong. Because Rev. Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson are willing to challenge popular misconceptions about what Islam is about, they should not be on the receiving end of verbal brickbats from Secretary of State Colin Powell. It should be the enemy that receives the opprobrium of the President and Secretary of State. Make no mistake: that enemy is Islam, and it is hard to believe that the United States government is honoring our foremost adversary in the world today with a stamp.
If we can't recognize the folly of that, then are we really prepared to face the future?
Paul Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.
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