Help me respond to an anti-Muslim forward

My aunt forwards a lot of conservative and/or Christian emails to me. Most of the time I just ignore them. But her last one listed a bunch of bad stuff that Muslims have done (e.g. 9/11, USS Cole bombing, etc.) and was asking “How can we honor Muslims with a postal stamp [the Eid stamp] after they’ve done all of this?”

I feel that I need to say something because spreading hate and ignorance isn’t something I’m ok with. But I can’t come up with a well-measured, thought out, respectful response right now. I’m just pissed that I’m related to xenophobic idiots, but I don’t want to fuel the fire with an angry response.


Well, start with Snopes:

As noted in the article, this stamp is now eight years old so it’s a little late for outrage.

You could direct them to Snopes.

If you’re ambitious, you could send them the salient points. (Snopes doesn’t allow copy-and-paste, so you’ll either have to type it out or go to the source code.)

Being a Christian myself, I feel that my religion has at least as much to answer for as the Muslims (possibly more, as we have a 600 year head start on them) - the Crusades, the Holocaust (well, a bit of a grey area if that was a “Christian crime”), televangelism, forced conversions, homophobia, xenophobia, and a whole lot of other phobia.

My take on all that is that most Christians, as a whole, aren’t living by one of the two basic commandments given by Jesus: “love others”. (We get two commandments, and we still manage to **** that up royally!)

Muslims have a similar missive to do good to others and especially to take care of the poor (the Quran has said to respect Jews and Christians as the belief systems are relatively the same) and, as your aunt and others gleefully point out (yet another of the things my religion has to answer for) don’t live up to it.

Yet we honour Christianity all the time in N. America, to the point that speaking out against it is “unpatriotic”. If we can mess things up just as bad as the Muslims can - where it’s really just a minority of Christians and Muslims giving our religions a bad name (but they are the ones getting the media attention) and we get honoured, it’s about high time they get honoured too. They aren’t honouring the attacks on your nation, they’re honouring those who live by the religion of peace (“Islam” means “peace” in Arabic, or similar anyways), much as stamps, etc. honouring Christians aren’t honouring the people who shoot abortion doctors and spit oiut vile hate towards others “in the name of Jesus”, but rather those who choose to put “love your neighbour as yourself” in practice.

There is an extremely sweet Muslim lady who lives across the street from me. She is originally from Iraq and has been in this country for nearly 30 years. When I brought her over a loaf of banana bread when they moved in, she immediately invited my daughter and me to come to a feast she was having to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fast. Immediately! I had known her 10 minutes, yet she wanted me to celebrate with her closest friends in her home.

She didn’t fly the planes into the towers. She didn’t mastermind the Cole bombing. She is a human being who practices a different religion, and is as much an American citizen as I, albeit naturalized. A good, kind caring woman.

This type of email infuriates me.

FWIW, you can debunk the “Obama [the crypto-Muslim, don’t you know] is celebrating Islam” meme.

Debunking the “hatred and ignorance” of the substance of the e-mail is harder, and Snopes doesn’t really try, becuase AFAICT each of the enormities of which the e-mail (the Snopes version) accuses Muslims of were committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam. It’s a fact that most modern terrorism falls into this category, and facts are stubborn things. If your aunt’s half-way a good arguer, that will be her riposte, so be prepared.

I wouldn’t even bother, if I were you. People who forward things like that aren’t interested in hearing balanced viewpoints, or considering a different mindset, and won’t hear or read any sort of response as anything other than you attempting to “apologize for them furriners.” Save your energy for more productive endeavors, like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon.

Word. Block her. She doesn’t deserve a respectful response, so if you’re going to respond, tell her what you really think. Examples to counter her hate mail are fine, but she’ll still be a hater when you’re done.

Yes, there’s a stamp honoring Islam. There’s a stamp honoring every religion in America, up to (and possibly including) Pastafarianism. It would be very strange if we didn’t have an Islamic stamp.

That’s odd, I have no problem copy pasting from Snopes. Maybe you need to turn off javascript. I have it off as default.

Exactly. No matter how true, reasonable, and respectful a response you come up with, you’re not going to change the minds of most of the people who forward this kind of thing.

Either ask her “Please don’t send me things like this any more”, or just grit your teeth and delete them when she does send them to you.

Would that be the worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?


Thanks for the Snopes link and all the comments. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Most of the time I do just ignore the forwards, but this one was just too egregious.

In general, my aunt’s a caring person, but I think she’s been watching waaaaaay too much Fox and getting too many emails from other conservatives, and she just takes it all at face value, a bit naively believing it all. Why would the nice reporters on Fox lie to her? So I guess part of my reason for wanting to email her is to show her that there IS another side and that we’re Christians too. (Maybe not the *right kind *of Christians, but that there are people she knows who feel very differently than she does.)

I Googled “bad things Christians have done” and found this list. You might want to verify some of the claims, but it’s a start.

It might be hard to defend Muslims when someone points out all of the specific bad things done by specific Muslims in the name of Islam, but perhaps pointing out all of the specific bad things done by Christians in the name of Christ can show your aunt that evil and misinterpretation of religion is a human thing, not an Islamic thing.

You can also get some info from this article about Islamic inventions. See the links under see also for more “good things Muslims have done”.

And yet Billy Ray Cyrus isn’t on the list. This must be rectified.

If a stamp celebrating a Muslim holiday is a slap in the face to all the Americans who were killed by Muslim terrorists, then are Christmas stamps a slap in the face to all the Jews who have been killed by Christians over the past two thousand years?

Definitely. Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head. Thanks loads.

Yes. Yes, it would.

Where can I get stamps for Pastafarianism? I want to put them on my Christmas cards to all my conservative relatives. :stuck_out_tongue:

Assuming you’re American, here will probably do nicely.