US Post Office issues new Eid stamp honoring Muslims

US Post Office issues new Eid stamp honoring Muslims
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The U.S. Post Office has issued its latest stamp to commemorate the Muslim religious holiday of Ramadan with its latest “Eid Stamp” — Eid meaning Holiday in Arabic. Despite social media racism claiming the stamp was issued by “Muslim President Barack Obama,” the first Eid Stamp was actually ordered by former President George W. Bush just before Sept. 11, 2001.

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania covering Chicago City Hall (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania
covering Chicago
City Hall
(1976-1992)

People will go to any lengths to bash Muslims these days and the latest social media thread involves claims that “Muslim President Barack Hussein Obama has again ordered a new stamp to honor his religion.”

Well, we all know President Obama is not Muslim, he is a Christian. And while his middle name is a common Arab name, used often by Muslims but also by some Christian Arabs, too, President Obama did not order the first Stamp to recognize American Muslims and their holiday (Eid in Arabic) of Ramadan.

The first stamp to honor the Muslim Eid was ordered by President George W. Bush before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In fact, the issuance of the stamp had nothing to do with the terrorism and everything to do with the tradition of this nation recognizing major religious holidays.

With the increasing population of Muslims in the United States — as many as 7 million by last count — it’s no wonder that the United States Postal Service has issued the stamp in recognition of their religious beliefs.

Eid Stamp 2016

Eid Stamp 2016

Bush unveiled the first Eid Stamp on August 1, 2001, which was valued at 34 cents, the First Class stamp rate. The U.S. Postal Service has re-iussed the stamp to reflect the increasing stamp costs. When the costs of a First Class Stamp increased to 37 cents, new stamps including one for the Eid, were issued again on Oct. 10, 2002. And the costs of postage have continued to increase several more times, each time with new stamps, including a new Eid stamp, issued, too.

The increases were in 2006, with a 39-cent denomination; in 2007,  at 41 cents; in 2008, at 42 cents; and on Sept. 3, 2009, at 44 cents. Soon after, the U.S. Postal Service decided to remove the value fro postage stamps calling them “Forever” stamps and the value of the stamp would increase regardless of how much you paid when you purchased the stamp.

The Arab Daily News

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The Eid Stamps commemorates the Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The most recent Eid Stamp was authorized in December 2015 and is listed on the U.S. Postal Service website as follows:

Eid Greetings
Featuring a design that evokes centuries of tradition, this stamp commemorates the two most important festivals—or eids—in the Islamic calendar:  Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The gold-colored calligraphy on the Forever stamp was created by world-renowned calligrapher Mohamed Zakaria of Arlington, VA.

The script reads Eidukum mumbarak, “May your Eid be bountiful (or blessed).

As he has with all previous Eid stamps, Zakariya employed traditional methods to instruments to create the design.  He used homemade black ink, and his pens were crafted from seasoned reeds from the Near East and Japanese Bamboo from Hawaii. The paper was specially prepared with a coating of starch and three coats of alum and egg-white varnish, then burnished with an agate stone and aged for more than a year. The black-and-white designed was then colorized by computer. Ethel Kessler was the art director.

Here is the 2013 Eid Stamp.

2013 Eid Stamp

2013 Eid Stamp

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The Arab Daily News

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