Response to a mass email (at bottom) suggesting that patriotic Americans should boycott a new Muslim Commemorative first class U.S. postage stamp:
25 May 2003
This broadcast email prompted me to do a little research because it seemed to me to represent such a very narrow view of the last two decades on this planet and for that matter the past 1500 years. While we in the U.S. find Muslims guilty of terrorism, unfortunately, it is factually the Christian faith which has possibly the richest history of suppression and even genocide of people of other faiths. I don't have time to provide you with full research on this matter but here is just a smattering of what is familiar to all and easily documented.
BOSNIA & KOSSOVO - 1992: The genocide that occurred in Bosnia and Kossovo of Muslims at the hands of Christian Serbs. Croat religious nationalists began a campaign of ethic cleansing which involved the systematic destruction of non-Catholic culture, peoples, and communities throughout Herzegovina. Overall, more than half million Muslims were killed. A large part of the adult male population of Bosnia and Kossovo were sent into concentration camps. Atrocities against women and children were commonplace.
ARMENIA - 1917-1920: The systematic destruction of villages, expulsion and killings by "Christian" Dashaks of the Muslim population in the independent republic of Armenia which consisted of at least 30-40 percent (2.5 million?) of the population of that republic. Mikael Kaprilian, 1919: "The Armenians did exterminate the entire Muslim population of Russian Armenia as Muslims were considered inferior to the Armenians by the prominent leaders of the Dashnaks." Confession of a Dashnak in 1918 on his activities in Basar-Kechar region: "I killed Muslims by every means possible. Yet it is sometimes a pity to waste bullets for this. The best way is to gather all of these dogs and throw them into wells and then fill the wells with big and heavy stones, as I did. I gathered all of the women, men and children, threw big stones down on top of them. They must never live on this earth."
[As an aside, doesn't this sound familiar? Remember the racial supremacist justifications of Hitler and his German psychiatrist cronies for their genocide and crimes against humanity?]
SPAIN - 613 to 1834: The Spanish Inquisition's reign of terror against Jews and Muslims went on for not a couple of years but for well over a thousand years! What is truly remarkable about this is that it continued to have the official support of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church (which continues to be the largest Christian faith in the world). Many people don't realize that very serious persecution began in Spain in the year 613 A.D. At that time, Jews were given the option of either leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. Jewish children over 6 years of age were taken from their parents and given a Christian education. The activity and atrocities (torture and burning at the stake) of the Inquisition reached it's peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, but the Inquisition wasn't abolished until 1834 (by King Bonaparte -- not by the Catholic Church!). And it wasn't until January of 1968 when the files of the Office of the Inquisition at the Vatican were closed. In essence, it took the Catholic Church literally hundreds of years, lasting right up to modern days, to officially admit that the Inquisition had been wrong.
And, guess what? -- Muslims have committed atrocities and genocide in the past also! So, that is not my point at all.
This continued focus on the 'differences' between cultures, religions, and people, can only create additional barriers to a world at peace.
Hate, and the violence it engenders, are very simply not a sane man's or a sane society's solution to its problems. It continues only because men and women and their governments choose to have very selective memories, and to ignore a primary message of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, and great religious traditions down through the ages, which is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. Ignoring this message, they foolishly attempt to solve their problems in often irrational and highly destructive ways. The simple fact is that "tit for tat" does not work. Only UNDERSTANDING and LOVE can provide a bright future for all.
And that takes a change in viewpoint that we must all strive to achieve, individual by individual.
In a famous essay entitled "What is Greatness?", L. Ron Hubbard said in part: "The hardest task one can have is to continue to love his fellows despite all reasons he should not. And the true sign of sanity and greatness is to so continue. For the one who can achieve this, there is abundant hope. For those who cannot, there is only sorrow, hatred and despair. And these are not the things of which greatness or sanity or happiness are made. A primary trap is to succumb to invitations to hate. .... " The full reference can be found at http://www.realhubbard.org/ and linked pages.
These notes and thoughts are humbly provided in an effort to bring the greater view of history to bear and bring a greater understanding to the world.
P.S. Here's the portion of the earth's surface with principally Muslim populations: Muslim Distribution Map
In a recent message, you wrote:
>Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 18:37:01 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: Fwd: Something to think about
>ONLY IN AMERICA!
>Dear Fellow Patriotic Americans,
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of PanAm Flight 103...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the club in Australia recently that killed
>many, including an American football player...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/01,
>REMEMBER! the MUSLIM attack on the Pentagon on 9/11/01...
>REMEMBER the MUSLIM take over of the 4th plane and those who died in the
>field of Pennsylvania trying to prevent the aircraft from hitting the White
>REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM
>NOW the United States Postal Service:
>REMEMBERS and HONORS the MUSLIM with a commemorative first class postage
>I strongly urge you to REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp
>when purchasing your stamps at the post office.
>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.
>I also strongly urge you to pass this along to every Patriotic American you
>know, whether by email or otherwise.