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Opening This Friday: Major New Exhibit Of Islamic Art At B Y U


Daniel Peterson

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“Many of the lenders asked me early on, ‘Why Utah? Why BYU? There is no Islamic art in Utah.’ I said, ‘Well, precisely. We need to take Islamic art to Utah,’” Al Khemir said. “And why BYU? Well, here’s a community—a religious community—who sincerely embraced the project, who was willing to cross bridges.”

Very nice.

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I hope security is a top priority.

I think it's going to be. The Moroccan ambassador will be in town tomorrow and Friday, as will a very senior Saudi prince and a number of other dignitaries.

Incidentally, I might mention here that Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, the art historian who has assembled the exhibit, will be presenting an opening address tomorrow (Thursday) at 4 PM in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium.

And this Friday (24 February), from 7-9 PM, there will be a "Beauty and Belief Public Opening and Celebration" in the BYU Museum of Art, with Middle Eastern music, dance, and refreshments. It will be open to the public.

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And this Friday (24 February), from 7-9 PM, there will be a "Beauty and Belief Public Opening and Celebration" in the BYU Museum of Art, with Middle Eastern music, dance, and refreshments. It will be open to the public.

Date night!

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I neither "hate" nor "fear" Islam, but I am wary of it. Islam seeks to destroy all culture, all religions but itself.

We Saints envision a day when Christ's Gospel will fill the earth. Muslims also view their faith as being universal at some point in the future. The difference is that we approach the issue peacefully, and they are more than willing to do it by the sword (or bomb-laden underwear). We expect Christ will come and establish His kingdom by virtue of His birth-right. Their Madhi will come after Muslims kill us or convert us. Those are not trivial differences.

There are peaceful Muslims, I'm sure, but in these discussions, I constantly recall the exchange between my mother-in-law and her Muslim neighbor, an USmerican convert to Allah. When Mom asked her friend if she supported the Constitution, the answer was, "Well, it's good in its own way, but Shariah would be so much better, don't you think?" That's cause for concern.

Many Muslims say there is no way that Islam can co-exist with any other faith or governmental system. If there are any who imagine it can, they are being threatened by their own brethren to remain quiet, to the point that I know of only a trivial number who have raised any objection to the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears, at the least, that all Muslims could acquiesce to an overthrow of our system of secular government, and whether that be by force or popular demand, any non-Muslims would be swept out of the way.

I can't recall a single current on-going fight anywhere in the world that does not involve Islam, even if only "radical" Islam. I don't recall seeing a single incident of people other than Muslims who allow their own daughters to die because, to escape their burning school, the girls didn't have time to put on a headscarf. I can't remember an event in the Christian world where people of other faiths are forced into their places of worship and then gunned down (after the women were raped, and the men brutalized), but this has happened in Islamic countries.

The question of reciprocity about a display of Christian (or USmerican secular) art in the kingdom of Saud or one of the Emirates is à propos because, while it is useful and admirable to build bridges, one-way bridges do not serve both parties well.

When LDS and Catholic missionaries are allowed to proselytize in the kingdom or in Egypt, as Muslims do in USmerica, it might be time to build a bridge. When a convert to Christianity is beheaded for apostasy in Iran, that time is not now.

I am not an art historian or aficionado. I'm not impressed by much of painting, sculpture, poetry, music, or photography. But I do find art interesting because of the values they illustrate. "Islamic Art at BYU" (or whatever title it might bear) would be a fun afternoon. But I do not see it as "building bridges": it's more like exposing USmerica to Islam so we'll become sympathetic to the message of Muhamet. That does nothing for me in the least.

Lehi

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So it is going to turn into a "hate Islam" thread.

Inspired by mention of the opening of an art exhibit.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I'm reminded of the comments sections in the Salt Lake Tribune: Whether it's a story about a young athlete deferring his college play for a mission, or about an elderly lady making quilts for Third World babies, the comments soon start attacking the pedophile Joe Smith and denouncing the Book of Mormon as a fraud.

Islam seeks to destroy all culture, all religions but itself.

"Islam" is neither a person nor a monolith, and this statement is flatly false.

We Saints envision a day when Christ's Gospel will fill the earth. Muslims also view their faith as being universal at some point in the future. The difference is that we approach the issue peacefully, and they are more than willing to do it by the sword (or bomb-laden underwear).

Who is "they"? My friend and colleague Shereen Saleh? Does she have bombs in her underwear? (I would never dare to ask.) My friend and former colleague Muhammad Eissa, who served as imam for the Muslim students here at BYU while he covered my classes? The imam of Orlando, Florida, who is also a friend of mine?

to the point that I know of only a trivial number who have raised any objection to the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are "actions of the Muslim brotherhood" of which I approve. Setting up village medical clinics, for example. This is not, in my judgment, a bad thing.

Nuances. Context. Shades of meaning. Complexity. I'm a political conservative, and certainly no fan of Islamism, but black-and-white caricatures are utterly unhelpful.

It appears, at the least, that all Muslims could acquiesce to an overthrow of our system of secular government, and whether that be by force or popular demand, any non-Muslims would be swept out of the way.

Good grief.

I can't recall a single current on-going fight anywhere in the world that does not involve Islam, even if only "radical" Islam.

The Mexican drug war, to choose one example, has killed more than 60,000 people thus far. The Colombian Civil War has claimed roughly 200,000 lives. There has never really been a truce between North and South Korea. Nearly five million dead in that one. Internal conflicts in Burma? Roughly half a million killed. Similar figures for the conflict in Papua, New Guinea. Internal conflicts in Peru have taken about 70,000 lives. In Laos, an ongoing insurgency has killed about 100,000. The insurgency led by "the Lord's Resistance Army" in Central Africa has murdered about 30,000 people.

I don't want to try to minimize the bloody dysfunctionality of far too much of the contemporary Islamic world, but there are plenty of problems where Muslims aren't a factor.

I don't recall seeing a single incident of people other than Muslims who allow their own daughters to die because, to escape their burning school, the girls didn't have time to put on a headscarf.

An incident that was sharply criticized within Saudi Arabia and by many Muslims outside of the Kingdom, as well as by non-Muslims.

I can't remember an event in the Christian world where people of other faiths are forced into their places of worship and then gunned down (after the women were raped, and the men brutalized), but this has happened in Islamic countries.

It has been done, though not recently, by Christians to Jews and by Christians to Muslims, and etc.

The question of reciprocity about a display of Christian (or USmerican secular) art in the kingdom of Saud or one of the Emirates is à propos because, while it is useful and admirable to build bridges, one-way bridges do not serve both parties well.

You would prefer no bridges at all, apparently, to "one-way bridges"?

When LDS and Catholic missionaries are allowed to proselytize in the kingdom or in Egypt, as Muslims do in USmerica, it might be time to build a bridge.

But no bridge-building until then, right? Just confrontation across a chasm.

When a convert to Christianity is beheaded for apostasy in Iran, that time is not now.

So you grant the current Iranian regime a veto over any and all attempts to promote understanding between Christians and Muslims.

I am not an art historian or aficionado. I'm not impressed by much of painting, sculpture, poetry, music, or photography.

Too bad.

I do not see it as "building bridges": it's more like exposing USmerica to Islam so we'll become sympathetic to the message of Muhamet. That does nothing for me in the least.

Again, good grief.

Incidentally, congratulations on the new spelling of Muhammad's name. I've never seen that one before.

Alas, I'm not going to have any more time until at least this evening to pay any attention to this thread, since I have to go off now to help host the Moroccan ambassador (who wants to kill all Americans) and a very senior Saudi prince (who probably hopes to herd us all into a church, rape our women, and then gun us down), and the Tunisian-born art historian who assembled the exhibit (and who, no doubt, plans thereby to convert us to the message of Makhomud, or whatever his name is).

This is all very depressing, and I won't be at all upset if the moderators close this thread.

It was just about the opening of an art exhibit . . .

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the Tunisian-born art historian who assembled the exhibit (and who, no doubt, plans thereby to convert us to the message of Makhomud, or whatever his name is).

The proper spelling must be Mahound.

All jokes aside, I'm not really attempting to derail this thread.

A shame that I couldn't make it, as I'm rather fond of Muslim art. It can be very aesthetically pleasing and elegant. Especially the griffin!

I saw Hisham's palace as a kid, the impression has stayed ever since. Unfortunately I've never been able to return. There was a wonderful Mughal exhibition in Ramat Gan a few years ago (those insidiuos London-Jewish art collectors and their subliminal Muslim proselitising) and after the miniscule Greco-Roman room, my biggest disappointment in the Cairo Museum was the lack of medieval Egyptian exhibits.

Kudos to all those involved in this exhibit!

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Just got back from the gala opening. Very impressive. Elder Holland, two members of the Seventy (both friends of mine, one since our year as college freshmen), the ambassador of Morocco, a very senior Saudi prince, heads of other museums where the exhibit will eventually go, big donors, representatives of the Utah Muslim community, the ribbon for the ribbon-cutting a special gift sent from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the best food I've ever had that was catered by BYU (Middle Eastern cuisine, no less), and an absolutely marvelous exhibit. Absolutely marvelous.

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I would love to see it.

Do you know where else it is going, Dr. Peterson? Anywhere in Southern California?

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...the best food I've ever had that was catered by BYU (Middle Eastern cuisine, no less)...

Wait, something doesn't add up here. You mean to tell me BYU catered a meal made of something besides chicken, brocolli and white sauce?

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Thanks, Dr. Peterson. That's too bad. I don't think I'm going to be in any of those areas in the next year. Can you take pictures? (I know some exhibits don't allow that)..

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