Philbrook Museum, CAIR respond to exhibit billboard vandalism

TULSA, Okla. – The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Philbrook Museum of Art are reacting after a billboard promoting an Islamic Art exhibit at the institution was vandalized.

“One of the billboards for our exhibition of Islamic Art was recently vandalized. The billboard will be replaced as soon as possible. We could not be more proud to present this show and we will not be deterred by any form of intolerance in our community,” said Philbrook Museum of Art’s Director Scott Stulen.

On the billboard promoting “1200 years of Islamic Art,” the words “Home Grown Terror!” were spraypainted across the sign.

“We are saddened and frustrated to see that Islamophobia has touched something as beautiful as Philbrook’s efforts to showcase the diversity, beauty and artistic creation of the Islamic world,” said CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure. “Philbrook’s exhibition shows now, more than ever, the importance of our understanding and appreciation of the Muslim community, both here and abroad.”

The art exhibition, “Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam,” is on display until October 6.

It is currently the most extensive exhibition of Islamic art ever to be shown in Oklahoma.

“We believe strongly that museums are for everyone. We can’t just say that or have it in the mission statement on our website, we must show this commitment to inclusion through the exhibitions we present and the programs we create. And a quick note to the vandal(s): we hope you see the show. You’re welcome any time. Free admission this Saturday,” said Stulen.

Laizure added: “We also hope that this act of vandalism will be fully investigated, that the perpetrator be brought to justice, and that, if appropriate, hate crime charges will be brought against the vandals who attempt to sow more division and hatred in our communities.”

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