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International Museum of Muslim Cultures

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Looking Toward International Museum of Muslim Cultures, Jackson MS

I'm a museum junkie.  There's hardly a museum I won't go out of my way to visit.  There's even a museum in Av's parents' basement.  So the last time we were in Jackson, I of course took the opportunity to visit the International Museum of Muslim Cultures.  Why is that in Jackson, Mississippi and not some place like NYC or Dearborn/Detroit? Here's the answer: a local art exhibit on Spain in the early 2000s had no mention of the Islamic influence so an exhibit was developed at a mosque, then purchased for use by the museum that was developed.

The image above is one I took from the other side of the building, as the museum does not allow photographs.  The museum is inside the two dark doors on the far wall.  There is an admission.

I was the only visitor the morning I was there; while I wanted to like the museum and learn a lot, the exhibits weren't fresh or inviting (panel, panel, panel, panel).  What the non-school attendance of the museum is, I have no idea.  Some influx of funds dedicated to exhibition should be made, otherwise it's a one-and-done experience.

Well, actually, the museum has been in the news lately, as a television news network made a huge gaffe (which if you read this, you have to wonder how on earth anyone would actually fall for it being true) about how the museum was being supported during the federal shutdown, a ridiculous notion as the museum is not run by government auspices.  The Washington Post and other news outlets picked up on the story.

In the 'any press is good press' category, the museum issued a press release, part of which is below, stating that it the attention 'has been good for IMMC':

...Last Friday, October 4, 2013 it published a fictitious article wherein, IMMC was listed as having received a special contribution from President Barack Obama. The article claimed that, although other federally funded museums were closed because of the government shutdown, IMMC would remain open, because President Obama had stated in a press conference that he was taking his own personal monies to keep it open. This, of course, would be a wonderful thing, if it were true. However, it is not true.

This story, however, got even greater fame on Saturday when Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” morning program host Anna Kooiman repeated the National Report storyline about President Obama going into his own pockets to support the Museum. Although Ms. Kooiman has since apologized on tweeter for what she called “flawed research”, this created a news frenzy that has been good for IMMC.

IMMC is not a federally funded institution. And no, we’ve not received any funds, or contribution from President Obama, although we would welcome such contribution. We are an independent non-profit institution that is supported by its membership, grants and other donations and contributions from individuals, businesses, City, County, States, and national sources, as well as local and national foundations.

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