“May the peace and joy of this Christmas season be with you and your loved ones throughout the coming year.
“May the miracle of Christmas help bring peace to this young woman and her wounded land.”
On Tennesseee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s Christmas card is a painting of a girl. It’s a Muslim girl whom Bredesen says he met in March on a tour of Afghanistan.
Bredesen painted the picture. But making it the centerpiece of his 2006 Christmas card has confused everyone on his mailing list. Christmas is about Muslim girls? All right, Christmas is about Peace on Earth, including peace for Muslim girls.
The Muslim-Christmas juxtaposition does seem incongruous. It’s something like Muslims going to Mecca and finding a giant crucifix of Christ at the Kabah. I assume those pilgrims would be puzzled, at least.
Bredesen’s painting is strongly reminiscent of Steve McCurry’s 1983 photograph of Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan girl.” McCurry’s picture made the June 1985 cover of National Geographic magazine. At that time, no mention was made of Christmas.
I have the feeling Bredesen simply is proud of his own “Afghan girl,” and considers the artwork a Christmas gift to all his friends.
So Merry Christmas, Muslims all over the world!