Observant Muslim Americans are patriotic, involved citizens
As Muslim Americans fast from dawn to dusk to purify their body and soul during the holy month of Ramadan (Aug. 22 – Sept. 19), two insults were unfairly hurled their way. Mayor John Piper of Clarksville, Tenn., sent an e-mail to every member of the city council, many city employees, friends and family members urging “patriotic Americans” to boycott the U.S. Postal Service’s “Eid” (pronounced “eed”) stamps that commemorate the two important Muslim religious holidays. The e-mail falsely accused President Barack Obama of ordering the printing of these stamps. The stamps were actually issued during President George W. Bush’s presidency in 2001, and reissued several times as the price of the stamps increased. One would like to ask Mayor Piper what crime Muslim Americans committed to deserve the wrath of “patriotic Americans.”
Late last month, some very young students belonging to a church group entered a Florida school recently, wearing T-shirts proclaiming the message “Islam is of the Devil” printed on the back. Amid parents’ protests that this was merely a case of the students exercising their “free speech,” the authorities sent the students home. The church authorities and the parents do not seem to realize that they are teaching innocent youngsters prejudice at a very impressionable age. This could taint them for life. Imagine the consequences if a Muslim American youth, wearing a similar anti-Christian message, entered a school.
Fasting in some form is a requirement in many major religions. Catholics fast during Lent, for example, Jews fast during the High Holy Days and Hindus fast on certain days of the month such as Purnima (full moon) and Ekadasi (the 11th day of the fortnight).
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