IL: College Pulls Photo Exhibit After Muslim Protest

IL: College Pulls Photo Exhibit After Muslim Protest

IL: College Pulls Photo Exhibit After Muslim Protest
Michael Puente, Daily Herald, 10/28/05
http://www.dailyherald.com/search/searchstory.asp?id=111643

An art exhibit that included photographs of nude Muslim women wearing only a head covering was taken down Thursday afternoon just hours after opening for public viewing at Harper College in Palatine.

Muslim students at the college protested to officials about the pieces on display in Building C.

Several students say the pieces — some showing young Muslim men with machine guns — were downright offensive.

“I think they should rip this down,” student Matt George said.

Another student, Hussein Ali, says a number of Muslim students at Harper now are thinking about leaving.

“The Muslim students are thinking about boycotting Harper because of this,” said Ali, 23, of Schaumburg.

Ahmad Basalat, 21, of Bartlett said the exhibit expressed hatred toward Muslims.

Rich Johnson, co-coordinator of international students at Harper, said the exhibit was an event put on in conjunction with the college’s art department.

The school invited Chicago photographer Amir Normandi to exhibit his works depicting Muslim women in Iran defying the wearing of the jilbab.

Johnson said he thought the exhibit would be an interesting topic because it deals with human rights.

Salma Habed, 20, of Hoffman Estates said some of the pieces continued with the stereotype that Muslim women are oppressed.

“We go to school. We have careers. It’s not like we’re oppressed like some people feel for some reason,” Habed said.

Before the opening of the exhibit, neither Johnson nor other Harper officials had an opportunity to view the images.

Johnson and school officials ordered the removal or covering of the images until further notice because of the uproar. (MORE)

SEND POLITE COMMENTS TO: pburdick@harpercollege.edu, dwhite@harpercollege.edu
COPY TO: cair@cair-net.org, communications@cairchicago.org


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