Monday, January 09, 2006
Egyptian MP Talaat Sadat, whose uncle became the first Arab leader to make peace with Israel, called for a boycott of all mail coming from the Jewish state in protest against a stamp deemed offensive to Islam.What could be so offensive about an Israeli postage stamp you might ask? Could it be that it was touched by Jews? Maybe the offense is that it was designed or manufactured on "occupied" Arab land, such as Tel Aviv? Perhaps it depicts Jews frolicking after completion of one of their well-known ritual matzah dances? Or could it be simply that the price is denominated in shekels?
No, while all of those could probably invalidate most other Israeli stamps, Mr. Sadat made up a whole new category of complaint to get the AFP to pay attention to him this time:
Oh the horror!
...the MPs explained that the stamp depicted a muezzin calling for prayer from the top of his minaret like a pop star singing to a crowd.
I'm going to ignore for the moment any question of how these holy few even have any idea what a pop star looks like when singing to a crowd from the top of a minaret. I'd rather proceed straight to the phase where I simply call this complaint ridiculous. I'd recommend that Mr. Sadat seek serious psycho-therapy, but of course the Jews invented that, so I guess we'll just have to let him wallow in his own discontent.
But I have to wonder what the real problem with this stamp is. My best guess is that the value of the stamp is too low to deliver a letter bomb of any significance. It's frightfully inconvenient, not to mention dangerous, when that small package of explosives is returned to sender for insufficient postage. I'd love to know how many interns Mr. Sadat has had to replace in his office staff over the last year or two.