I am not a huge fan of forwards, and I regularly feel inundated by them. If they're really good...fine....but otherwise, I could do without. Mostly I get the faith ones, or jokes, or ocassionally the petition for something...and sometimes, these are the ones that normally burn me up, I get political ones....but rarely are they political ones I agree with....no, I get incendiary ones that seem short sighted and ignorant. I hate these forwards. Today I got one about a postage stamp...not just any postage stamp, but the EID stamp-- the one that commemorates/honors two Muslim holidays. This message got to me for a number of reasons:
1) The issuing of the stamp is YEARS old and the forward reads as if we are responding to something current.
2) The email sites all kinds of wrongs committed by Muslims...as if that was all Muslims ever did was attack and bomb people. Apparently all Muslims were a part of these atrocities. Could we try remembering the contributions Muslims have made?
3) One line is "Holiday postage stamp. Bull!" Like no one else has holidays, like honoring those holidays is ridiculous?!?! Should we cut out the Chanukah and Kwanza ones too? Might as well do Christmas...
I saw the person who sent this email to me later in the day (keeping in mind he has no idea about my political leanings...we've never talked about it and I don't mention them at church), and he (excitedly) asked what I thought of the email he had sent me. I brusquely responded, "You don't want to know what I think of the email you sent me." "Oh." And that was it. When I got home I sent an email and apologized for being short with him, but also sent information about the stamp and my frustrations with the email.
The basic outline of the email is:
Remember the muslims who....bombed X boat
Remember the muslims who....bombed Y embassy
Remember the muslims who....bombed Z building
yadda, yadda, yadda....now remember the people who died. Boycott this stamp in honor of those people.
Part of me wants to say,
Remember the Christians who crusaded across Europe killing lots of folks?
Remember the Christians who bombed an abortion clinic and killed people?
Remember the Christians who burned people at the stake?
Remember them? Now remember the people who died. Boycott the (Christmas) stamp in honor of those people.
Neither of these extremes is appropriate, nor is either helpful. I'm not proud of the atrocities the other people of my faith have committed. Nor are my Muslim friends proud of the atrocities committed by others of their faith. We all have religious zealots--people who go to an extreme and we MUST remember they do not symbolize all of us. The extremists do not stand for what I stand for, nor are they necessarily representative of the majority. We can't run around condemning entire groups of people for the sins of a few. Come on.