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Talk show mad over Islamic New Year on grocery's calendar.

A Florida talk show host voiced her complaint over a complimentary calendar that marked the Islamic New Year but not the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, saying she views Muslims as "an enemy who declared war on us."

Responding to complaints from listeners of South Florida radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman on her WFTL program in early January, the Publix grocery chain removed from its stores a giveaway 2010 calendar that marked the beginning of the Islamic New Year on December 7 but not the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Kaufman's listeners were turned onto the issue after she complained on her program earlier this month and encouraged anyone listening in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami to let Publix know if they were offended by the calendar, which also listed Passover, Palm Sunday and Latin American holidays.

"Not Pearl Harbor Day. Instead, happy New Year, Islam, or some such?" she said on her program.

Publix spokesperson Shannon Patten told the St. Petersburg Times, "We have great diversity in our customers and wanted to include as many of them as we could, which is why we included the Islamic New Year along with Passover, Palm Sunday and a number of the national holidays of our customers.... Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day wasn't included because it's not a holiday," she said, adding that Memorial Day and Veterans Day were included.

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Not everyone opposed the calendar; some people called Publix to thank them for displaying the calendar. But Publix ultimately responded by removing the calendar from its stores.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, D.C., said, "Getting the calendar pulled is more about a cottage industry of Muslim bashers who seek every opportunity to demonize Islam than it is about Pearl Harbor Day. Certainly, no one has an issue with including Pearl Harbor Day," said Hooper. "But that's not what this is about."

Kaufman told the St. Petersburg Times she objected because she didn't want World War II veterans "to be disappointed" and because she views Muslims as "an enemy who declared war on us." She also said she thought it was inappropriate for the calendar to have listed holidays for people from the Caribbean and Central and South America on the calendar.

"Why pander to Islamics and people from Peru, Belize, Cuba and Haiti?" she told St. Petersburg Times. "It's irrelevant in America."

Patten said that next year's Publix calendar will include Pearl Harbor Day, the Islamic New Year and the national holidays of Latin American and Caribbean countries. "We'd like to make everyone happy," she said.

Kaufman said she won't complain next year, as long as Pearl Harbor Day is included.
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Title Annotation:Faith: Religion and the world
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Article Type:Calendar
Date:Jan 22, 2010
Words:458
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