Walt's Look Around: Muslim Culture Museum - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Muslim Culture Museum

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It’s right in there with the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Davis Planetarium next to Thalia Mara hall downtown. The International Museum of Muslim Cultures.

This is the only Muslim Culture museum in the nation. So what’s it doing in Jackson? Well, that’s simple enough. The organizers of the museum, Okolo Rashid and Emad Al-Turk live here. And also the museum grew out of a parallel exhibit to the Wonders of Spain exhibition here in Jackson several years ago.

But the continued purpose of the museum is pretty straightforward. 

“This is a vision that we had as Mississippians about the need to return this story into the overall narrative about the contributions of Islam to the Western World and to Mississippi as well,” said Rashid.

In light of the recent attacks attributed to Islamic extremists here in America and elsewhere, the need for this museum is multiplied many times over, just so we who are not Muslim can understand that Islam does not have just one face, and isn’t even all Arab.  

“I mean when you have 1.6 Billion Muslims around the world, this is not a homogeneous culture," said El-Turk. "I mean that’s really why this museum is so beautiful. It actually shares with the public the diversity of the Muslim Cultures.”

And with April having been declared Muslim Heritage Month in the City of Jackson, every Saturday of the month there has been and will be another slice of Muslim Culture explained in lecture, power point and food. And the events are open to everyone.

Bud Robinson and his wife dropped by last weekend to learn some things.

“I think it’s important for all of Mississippi and the whole South and the United States to know that not every Muslim is of the type we see about on TV with Isis or Al Qaeda.”

It’s a fascinating story of a rich culture that dovetailed right into our Western Civilization. Discover more of it and meet some of our Mississippi neighbors at the Museum of Muslim Culture in downtown Jackson.

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