“Muslim Worlds” will have hands-on exhibits, performances and other events geared toward getting children involved with the thousands of years of cultural heritage that has come from the Muslim world.
Though the museum promises to “bring to life the similarities and differences of Muslim cultures,” John Jay College Sociology Professor Mucahit Bilici said that exhibits like this operate on the assumption that Muslim people are separate from American society.
Visitors to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan dance as part of a festival celebrating Muslim culture.”I would say that the major problem with this project is that it treats Muslims as exclusively external people — as foreigners,” he said. “I’m sure that a significant percentage of their audience, like the kids who will visit that exhibition, will be Muslim. I wish that they would be aware of this and that they would frame it in a much more inclusive way.”
Cyrus McGoldrick, the civil rights manager of the New York Council on American Islamic Relations, argues that the exhibit will do good things for the Muslim community. He said a lot of the civil rights violations that he investigates happen to Muslim kids who are mocked by their peers at school. (More)