From the Detroit Free Press, “Drug exhibit raises ethnic issues,” with thanks to T.
An exhibit on the dangers of drugs and their connections to terrorism did not raise ethnic or religious concerns when it went on display in New York, Dallas and elsewhere. But it has in Detroit.
Some members of metro Detroit’s Arab-American community are complaining the exhibit at the New Detroit Science Center is insensitive in its use of Islamic imagery and want it changed to ensure it does not offend Muslims.
There are specific concerns over a handmade flag that purportedly belonged to the Taliban in Afghanistan and was given to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, whose museum center in Arlington, Va., created the exhibit.
The white flag carries the statement, written in Arabic, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” and is displayed near rubble taken from the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Taliban was ousted as the ruling party of Afghanistan by U.S. forces after being linked to Al Qaeda.
But the statement on the flag is fundamental to Islam as a whole and the flag’s Taliban connection does not justify its presence in the exhibit, said Hassan Jaber, associate executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. Jaber saw the exhibit about two weeks ago at the request of the science center after employees raised concerns.
“If these Taliban use it, and if the vicious and killers have used it, it doesn’t mean that there’s an association between Islam and drug trafficking,” he said. “If they would have used any other religious symbols from Christianity or Judaism, there would have been an outcry in the community. That level of sensitivity is not there.”…