Is the true nature and purpose of Islam on display at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan?
Will there be any mention of Islamic slavery of black Africans? Any mention of the violent jihads waged by Muhammad and others to spread Islam from Saudi Arabia and then to conquer dozens of other countries? Will there be a display of Muhammad’s six-year old wife – the same age as some of the children being forced to visit the museum display? Polygamy, sex slaves, stonings, beheadings, amputations, genital mutilation, acid throwing, rape gangs, honor killings, ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas, CAIR, ISNA, al Shabaab, 9/11, etc.?
We suspect all that and more are missing from the self-proclaimed “trusted source.”
As terrorism fears have mounted and tensions have escalated toward Muslims in the United States in recent years, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is doing its part to help defuse the rising anxiety. Its exhibition “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far” showcases the history, art and traditions of Muslims, with the belief that education will beat back ignorance and hate every time.
“People really want to dig in and get a better understanding from a trusted source about Muslim cultures,” said Andrew S. Ackerman, the museum’s executive director. And the earlier people are exposed to diverse cultures, the better, he said.
“Biases can form by age 6,” noted Lizzy Martin, the show’s curator.
[In other words, start lying to them about Islam and painting a false picture to entrench that bias as early as possible. Goebells for kids.]
Mr. Ackerman said, “We want young children to be exposed to as much diversity as possible to better understand other people and themselves, and there’s no question that reduces prejudice, violence and misunderstandings.”
The show has been so popular since its opening in February 2016 that its run has been extended another year, and plans are underway to take it on a nationwide tour in 2018.
“I’ve been here 26 years and I can’t remember another exhibit that had a sustained heavy attendance over a period of a year like this one has,” said Mr. Ackerman, noting that more than 350,000 people have visited. “It’s been a surprise blockbuster for us.” He said he knows of only a handful of detractors asking why the museum wasn’t showing Christian cultures instead.
The institution, tucked between brownstones and apartment buildings on the Upper West Side, has allotted the exhibition 3,000 square feet on its ground floor.
More than six years of planning and research went into designing the show and rounding up all the artifacts, artwork, murals and props. The museum consulted hundreds of people, including Muslims from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; consulates; scholars; and mosque leaders to ensure accuracy and authenticity.
Funding came from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
[In other words, funding comes partly from you – the American taxpayer – as we’ve noted in several previous posts: Manhattan Children’s Museum’s Taxpayer Funded ‘Muslim Worlds’ Exhibit]
Madelene Geswaldo, a teacher at the Manhattan School for Children, brought her second- and third-grade students last fall and used it as a starting point for a broader study of Islam. “We address Muslim culture in a positive way so that kids will not form ideas of having to be scared, or that all Muslims are terrorists or bad people,” Ms. Geswaldo said. The exhibition helped to “humanize” the culture and showcase its contributions to the world, she said.
Plans are underway to find a larger home for the children’s museum, and when it moves, Mr. Ackerman hopes to make the exhibition permanent.
Follow the money. Particularly if Trump is successful in Eliminating the Arts and Humanities Endowments.