On June 19, 2007, the Museum of Tolerance in LA hosted a program commemorating the UN's Day in Support of Victims of Torture. S. Shaiq, an active member of the So. Cal. Muslim community (and a good friend of mine), decided to keep an open mind and check out the event. She posted her thoughts on her blog, part of which I copied below:
I really want to be a tolerant person...and I really pride myself on being very open minded and self-critical of even my own personal views...I'm obviously not perfect, but I'm trying.
I went to an event at the Museum of Tolerance this week and I was purely dismayed by how hypocritical they are. I had heard some rumors about them but I didn't want to believe them and went in with a very open/clean slate.
I really haven't felt like this in a long time but that day I really felt like I (or things I believed in or stood for) were being attacked or villanized. It was just unnecessary and it was so implicitly shown that to some it may seem like I'm just making a big deal out of nothing but when something can make an otherwise not sensitive person feel scrutinized or attacked than i think it should be looked at twice. I mean if we want to learn anything from history than we should really re-evaluate the demonization of and generalization of any set of peoples.
For example we watched this short film called 'In our time' that kind of went over different genocides in recent history and how we can never let these things happen again 'in our time'. So when they showed the genocide in the Balkans they had a caption up that said 'Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims all killed each other'- so why not mention Serb Christians, Croat Christians, and Bosnian Muslims if you're going to bring religion into it, especially since the Muslims were the ones that were offended the most in that situation. And then of course they brought in the Darfur situation and said that Arab Muslims were killing Darfurians, which implies that the Darfurians are not Muslim, when in fact they are...so again villanizing Muslims as though they were the aggressors in this situation against innocent non-Muslims.