American Muslims Exhibit Visits BMC

July 1, 2008

Author: Katherine Fung

Source: The Bi-College News

The first major national exhibit about Muslims in America, “Collections and Stories of American Muslims: Presenting America’s Islamic Heritage,” came to Bryn Mawr last week as part of Religion on Campus Week.

Sarah Khasawinah ’09, the main organizer of the event, wanted to bring the exhibit to Bryn Mawr, because she saw a need for greater and more accurate representations of American Muslims. She explained, “I’ve been very interested in Islamic heritage in America my whole life. When I read textbooks as a kid, I always wondered why I didn’t see people like me. Most people don’t know that Muslims have been a part of the foundation of America, and have played important roles in its greatness.”

The exhibit is especially important in the struggle against threats, prejudices and stereotypes that have afflicted American Muslims since 2001. “A lot of the racism results from the idea that Muslims are ‘the other’ and they don’t belong here, but the exhibit shows that Muslims are a part of the fabric of this country,” said Khasawinah.

The exhibit is the first one of its kind, showing the history of Muslim Americans in the United States through pre-colonial times through slavery in early America to the present. The exhibit consisted of 36 panels displaying historical documents and photos about different elements of Islamic history in America that are not typically known or taught as part of conventional American history.

See also: Islam, Arts/Media, Campus