Islamic Heritage Museum Opens in D.C.

Exhibit explores America's Islamic history dating back to the 1500's

By Arlene Borenstein
|  Thursday, Jul 28, 2011  |  Updated 2:34 PM EDT
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Islamic Heritage Museum Opens in D.C.

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Southeast Washington is now home to a new museum commemorating Islamic heritage in the United States. The "America's Islamic Heritage Museum and Cultural Center" held a reception and media preview today.

The museum, located on 2315 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, traces the history of Muslims in America. According to the press release:

More than the stories already known in mainstream America, such as those of Kunta Kinte (Alex Haley's "Roots") and Abdul Rahman (A Prince Among Slaves). But there's also many stories waiting to be heard like those of the first communities of Muslims in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and Illinois. The museum is truly wholesome, offering the stories of the enslaved Muslims and their adeptness to keep their faith, the Nation of Islam, the Masons, as well as to demonstrate the diversity with which Islamic principles became a part of the American fabric.

 The museum began as a traveling exhibit by a non-profit organization created in 1996 called the "Collections and Stories of American Muslims".

According to the website, the exhibit has traveled across the country, including stops at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Cultural Center in New York, Harvard University, University of Florida, The Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and The State Department's International Visitor Program.

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