Freedom Folks

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Muslim Students Protest, Harper College Pulls Art Exhibit


I have been hoping, wishing & praying that this wouldn't happen in my neck of the woods.


It only took the academic weenies at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, a few hours to cave in to the demands of Muslim students "offended" by a public art display on campus. Read the local newspaper account here. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

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.

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.

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.

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

View the photographs by Chicago's Amir Normandi here.

I wrote a letter to the editor over at the newspaper. I'm planning to write to anyone and everyone I can find at Harper. And I'm going to write a letter of support to the photographer.

As far as I'm concerned this politically correct, extremely over-sensitive, easily offendable bullshit has got to stop. Let's face it -- it's a form of domestic terrorism.

"Wah, wah, wah. You took a photograph that shows a hijab AND a boob. I'm scarred for life."

Grow the hell up and learn a little something about a word that goes hand-in-hand with freedom, and that you love to throw around but clearly have no idea what it means:



Where, by the way, is the ACLU? I'll certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for their intervention. As a matter of fact, I even e-mailed the local office with details and links. Given their efforts on cases like this, this, this, this, and let's not forget this, I'm sure they'll get right on it. Although, if Mr. Normandi had really wanted his first amendment rights to be vigilantly protected by the ACLU, he should have offended some Christian students rather than Muslim ones.


When I first read this story, I immediately dashed off a letter to the editor of The Daily Herald. It didn't make the cut. Shocker.

Fortunately, being a blogger, I've got the power to PUBLISH IT ANYWAY!

Here goes...

Freedom is a precious gift, and one that has been won and sustained in this country through sacrifice, pain, persistence and effort. So you will understand my horror at reading that Harper College voluntarily gave away a tiny slice of that freedom within the space of a few hours on Thursday.

Will everyone appreciate the provocative photography of Amir Normandi? No. Is anyone being forced to view it? No! But, for a few brief hours, it was open to the public for anyone who wished to see Mr. Normandi's exploration of human rights issues in Iran through art. That's freedom in action.

Salma Habed, 20, of Hoffman Estates, felt that some of the pieces "continued with the stereotype that Muslim women are oppressed," and was quoted as saying, "We go to school. We have careers. It's not like we're oppressed like some people feel for some reason."

No, you're not. You have access to wonderful freedoms, and I hope you exercise, enjoy, and appreciate them to the fullest. The reason you have those freedoms is because, the last time I checked, Hoffman Estates is in AMERICA.

I only ask that you be aware that, by protesting this public art exhibit, you chip away at those freedoms. I am thankful to live in a country where citizenship provides those freedoms, and I sure would like to keep it that way.

As seen @ bRight & Early

Und der Wizbang

And of course .5

VRWC indeed!

The inimitable Right on Right

If only reality were euphoric




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