The Facts: The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has built the Museum of Tolerance here in LA, has been issued the permit to build a Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. There is some tension behind this because many believe that it is on a Muslim cemetery.
This issue ought to be judged with knowledge, said Ran Boytner, an Israeli-born archaeology professor here at UCLA. After interviewing the opposing sides, namely the Museum of Tolerance and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los Angeles, with the additional help of Ran Boytner, the truth finally emerged.
The reason is because each said the opposite thing when asked if the Museum of Tolerance was to be built on top of a Muslim cemetery.
Ran Boytner affirmed that the site they are going to build on is a Muslim cemetery and that the cemetery will be removed and reburied elsewhere.“It’s definitely a Muslim cemetery, there’s no question about that,” he said. He said that it was partially covered by a parking lot sixty years ago, and while the reasons for the building of that car park are nebulous, the fact is that there is a car park there that is on top of what was once a cemetery.
CAIR made it very clear that it is a Muslim cemetery there. This is the whole reason they are against it. Munira Syeda, a representative of CAIR-Los Angeles, said, “we never said, ‘don’t build,’ we just want it to be moved elsewhere. Not doing so will further the tension and animosity between Muslim and Jewish communities. Companions of Prophet Muhammad and other famous Muslim scholars are said to be buried there. So, obviously the site has a special religious significance for Muslims, aside from having archaeological value.”
She said that this Museum will be a good thing, and it has good intentions, and it is just the placement of this Museum that is the issue—being that it is atop a Muslim cemetery. It would not be tolerant, both Boytner and Syeda noted, for a Museum of Tolerance to build on top of a Muslim cemetery.(More)