Dutch anti-Islam party presents political program

The Party for Freedom (PVV), under the political leadership of Geert Wilders, the Netherlands’ most well-known anti-Islam politician, has presented a one-page political program for the upcoming elections. It is highly unusual for Dutch parties to present their particular programs in such a short and limited format. It seems the program has established somewhat of a record in this regard.

The PVV program contains controversial, but not new, political goals, including the closing of all mosques and Islamic schools, forbidding the Quran and headscarves, closing all refugees centers and canceling all the residence permits given to refugees. It also re-states the wish of the PVV for the Netherlands to become “independent again”, meaning to “get out if the EU”.

The program rejects the government policies of the Rutte II cabinet on all fronts and aims to undo some of the large retrenchments as well as to lower several taxes. The finances to take these measures the PVV want to cover by completely eliminating public broadcasting services and the funding for developmental aid, wind mills, art, innovation, and the like, stating that “in stead of financing the whole world and the people we don’t want to have here, will spend the money on the common Dutch people”.

The New Museum Surveys Art From the Arab World

July 15, 2014

The Western media’s obsession with Middle Eastern conflict has made it easy for American audiences to mistake war and crisis as components of Arab identity. But if there’s anything that the New Museum’s newest exhibition, “Here and Elsewhere,” works to dispel, it’s the fallacy that any single portrayal can summarize the many cultural landscapes around and within the Arabian peninsula.

The exhibition, which opens Wednesday and runs until Sept. 28, documents the work of 45 contemporary artists of Arab origin, marking the first-ever museumwide group show of Arab artists in New York City. The show’s curators were careful to avoid making any blanket statements about art from the Arab world. “We’re looking at a very diverse group of artists who share a fascination with the question of truth through images,” says Massimiliano Gioni, the New Museum’s associate director and the exhibition’s co-curator. “This question is also a question of what constitutes an identity, and how an identity like Arab is constructed through images.”

“Here and Elsewhere” is on view July 16 to Sept. 28 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, newmuseum.org.

The Queen is to appoint aristocrat who converted to Islam as her High Sheriff

November 17, 2013

 

An aristocrat who converted to Islam has been nominated to be the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, the monarch’s representative in the county. The Earl of Yarborough, who uses the name Abdul Mateen, will take the unpaid role next year. He inherited the bulk of a £68 million estate, which includes Brocklesby Park in Lincolnshire, 27,500 acres of farmland, and one of Britain’s finest private art collections when his father died in 1991.

 

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/10454383/The-Queen-is-to-appoint-aristocrat-who-converted-to-Islam-as-her-High-Sheriff.html

Young Italian Muslims Festival

By Maria Teresa Martinengo

November 18, 2013

As part of the Youth festival in Turin, an exhibition of images in Turin is on view, an orientation program, a day of “open mosques,” walks through places of worship in San Salvario, a lecture on the Quran and the prophets of the Bible, and the play ” the taste of pistachios.” Additionally, the festival will host sports tournaments, a meeting on the family in Islamic countries, and art workshops on photography. The program is part of the fourth annual Young Italian Muslims in the North West, which opens Saturday morning in Piazza Castello. The 2013 edition is proposed as a Festival, a series of events by which the GMI even more than in years past, “make themselves available” in a city of youths mostly born to parents originating from Egypt and Morocco.

 

The program

“Turin with New Eyes” is a tribute to the first capital of Italy: a photographic exhibition in Turin seen through the eyes of the city’s “new” citizens it will be on display on Saturday in Piazza Castello, from 10am to 8pm.

“The Future” is a project dedicated to career choices and university orientations. Through the knowledge of the professions, the orientation will present the new world of work and courses of study offered by the University of Turin and the Piedmont region. The project, which will take place in schools throughout the school year, will debut on Saturday.

 

The theater company

The Theatre Company of Young Muslims of Italy (GMI  Section of Turin) will perform “The Taste of pistachio.” Which will show a multitude of different characters on stage.

Additionally, after Turin Spirituality, 2013, the Group proposes to read the pages of the Koran, which special attention to verses about the prophets, Wednesday 27, at 8 pm.

 

Mosques open

The program includes art workshops, male and female football tournaments and various sporting events, including “On the Path of Knowledge,” a walk in the atmosphere of interfaith San Salvario: from Waldensian Evangelical church to the church of Saints Peter and Paul, Saturday 30 at 10 am. The same morning, from 9am to 12pm, mosques will be open to visitors.

 

La Stampa: http://www.lastampa.it/2013/11/18/cronaca/presentato-il-festival-dei-giovani-musulmani-italiani-PGO21m5NITnR7loCrNQpqJ/pagina.html

 

Kansas school surrenders to ignorance, removes Islam display

Back to school means back to the culture wars for Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas.

On the very first day of school, someone snapped a photo of a bulletin board display in the hallway featuring the Five Pillars of Islam and then posted it on Facebook.

“This is a school that banned all forms of Christian prayer,” said the caption under the photo. “This can not stand.”

The Islam display went viral migrating from the “Prepare to Take America Back” page on Facebook to likeminded pages and Web sites. Islamophobia is a cottage industry on the Internet.

School officials were immediately inundated with complaints from gullible and misinformed people who apparently believe the canard that public schools indoctrinate kids in Islam – and persecute Christians.

I wish I could report that Minneha administrators faced down the Facebook smears and courageously defended their bulletin board display.

But sadly, the school surrendered to ignorance and fear and removed the Five Pillars of Islam display – ostensibly to “alleviate the distraction.”

As it turns out, a bulletin board in another part of the school features an image of the Last Supper as part of teaching about the religious art of the Renaissance. Other religious images are featured on bulletin boards at other times of the year. These inconvenient facts were left out of the Facebook posting.

The City thinks of a new mosque for Muslims

July 23, 2013

Savona – At the suggestion of Luca Martino, the City of Savona has approved during today’s session of the Executive Council to proceed to enter into an agreement with ARTE – Territorial Regional Construction of Savona in order to make available to the Muslim community a suitable premises for social activities and prayer. The Head of Heritage Luca Martino said: “The Community has long called for the availability of premises to which, in recent years, we have responded by providing a gym, however, this does not suffice in times of Ramadan, when the attendance is much higher. Obviously this is an inadequate solution and it is temporary. This is why today we approved the use of a convention pursuant to article 15 of Law 241/90 for the use of premises located in Via Aglietto, owned by ART. ART will provide the premises at a moderate fee. The community has expressed its interest to perform, at its own expense, the necessary maintenance and adjustment to local regulations.”

Burka Avenger: the Pakistani cartoon challenging the Taliban on girls’ education – video trailer

Watch a trailer for Burka Avenger, the first animated series to be produced in Pakistan. The cartoon was created by local pop star Haroon and stars a burka-clad female superhero who takes on her enemies using a martial art called Takht Kabaddi, which uses books and pens as weapons. The series is intended to provide a positive role model for girls in the face of the Taliban’s opposition to female education.


Louvre opens long-awaited Islamic Wing

News Agencies – September 20, 2012

 

France’s Louvre Museum is unveiling a new wing devoted to Islamic art, with the long-gestating project debuting during a period of increased tension with the Muslim community over a French publication’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Louvre’s new addition, which cost nearly 100 million euros (about $127 million Cdn) is its biggest project since the famed Parisian art museum unveiled its I.M. Pei-designed, now-iconic glass pyramid in 1988. The dragonfly-shaped new galleries will showcase a rotating display of artifacts from the Louvre’s collection of Islamic art, which includes pieces dating from as far back as the 7th century.

The museum first opened its Islamic art department in 2003, during the tenure of former French president Jacques Chirac, who urged a “dialogue of cultures” to break down walls between religions. France is home to more than four million Muslims, western Europe’s largest Muslim population.

However, an expansion was necessary because the Louvre did not have enough space to display what has grown to become a vast collection of Islamic art, including treasures donated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the foundation of Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Talal.

 

Louvre’s Islamic art building is ready to fly

The Los Angeles Times – September 1, 2012

 

The Louvre’s new wing for the department of Islamic art undulates like molten gold. For the museum’s enlarged, 18,000-piece treasure trove of Islamic art, opening Sept. 22, architects Mario Bellini from Italy and Rudy Ricciotti from France used the latest in computer technology to create what is the most significant, innovative architectural expansion project to the museum since I.M. Pei shook up the institution with his glass pyramid in 1989. The building is a much more intimate addition, tucked into the folds of the sprawling monument (822 years old in some parts) and is not clearly visible from the street.

With its new structure and its expanded and restored collection, from which more than 2,500 works will be displayed, the museum says it hopes to “seduce” visitors into learning more about Islamic arts. In the process, the institution has stated a rather more ambitious goal for the $98.5-million-euro project ($123.8 million): to correct common “misconceptions” associated with the Islamic world and “bridge” cultural gaps that can lead to conflict.

The new wing will unveil never-before-shown precious works from the 7th to the 19th centuries, stretching from Spain to India, including pieces drawn from the Louvre’s collection of some 15,000 pieces, plus 3,400 other works on permanent loan from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Funders include Saudi Prince Waleed bin Talal’s Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation; King Mohammed VI of Morocco; Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Jabbar al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait; Kaboos ibn Said, sultan of Oman; and the republic of Azerbaijan.

Art Review: Getting to the Bottom of ‘Islamic Art’

NEW YORK — The West has a problem when dealing with the cultures of the lands that adhered to Islam over time. It begins with apprehending their differences, far greater than those that separate European nations.

On the museum scene, the meaningless label “Islamic art” is stuck to works visually and conceptually unrelated.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which ranks among the world’s four or five greatest institutions of its kind, the recently opened “Islamic department” unwittingly illustrates the confusion.