No Polish content. Some Jewish content. We say "Never again." Why?
Proposal: The Museum of the Victims of Jihad
This piece appeared at FrontPage Magazine here
Museums play a key role in defining societies and establishing priorities. Dorothy's ruby slippers and the Wright Brothers' plane at the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History's life-size blue whale, the Uffizi Gallery's David, Amsterdam's Anne Frank House, the Israeli Shrine of the Book's Dead Sea Scrolls: all exemplify the essential work museums perform.
There was a time when people weren't sure how to name or recount what has come to be called the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum does the hard work of curating a nightmarish tale that must be told. Hitler asked, "Who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" In 2005, Nobel Prize laureate Orhan Pamuk mentioned the Armenian Genocide in an interview. Turkey prosecuted Pamuk for "insulting Turkishness" and he had to flee his homeland. Institutions like the USHMM guard against such revisionism.
Museum exhibits receive the tender care a religious society extends to objects of veneration. Artifacts might be sealed in nitrogen chambers and handled only with gloved hands. Lights are lowered and visitors speak in hushed tones; thus, artifacts are accorded all but eternal life. This veneration highlights museums' duty to prioritize. For whom do we shed tears? What detail must never be eliminated from the canonical history? Museums influence and reflect policy, spending, and curricula.
Exactly because museums are so powerful, controversy surrounds them. Conflict over the treatment of Native Americans in museums has been fought in the courts. The 9/11 Memorial Museum has been criticized for its admission fee, its architecture, its inclusion of the Ground Zero Cross, and its treatment of Islam
The twenty-first century needs a Museum of the Victims of Jihad. Jihad is a major force in world history, affecting everything from desertification to international trade routes, for example Christopher Columbus' discovery of America.
Koran 9:5 and hadith of Bukhari 1:24 are just two of the verses that stipulate that Muslims are to fight non-Muslims until they become Muslim. Muslims, citing these texts, have been killing non-Muslims for 1400 years. Motivations such as greed, bloodlust, jealousy, tribalism, territorial expansion, revenge, hunger, and dynastic disputes have long sparked war. There is, though, perhaps no other written texts that have for so long and so unambiguously instigated murder. Soldiers in war killed for Nazism, for example, for a mere six years.