A special photography show celebrating New York City's Muslim community will open at the Museum of the City of New York next Saturday, February 18, weeks after US President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry to the US of residents of seven Muslim-majority nations put the city’s and country’s Muslim community under attack.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Muslims in New York: Highlights from the Photography Collection features the work of four photographers: Alexander Alland, Ed Grazda, Mel Rosenthal, and Robert Gerhardt. Alland's photos are from the 1940s; the photos of the other three artists are from the past three decades.
"This special installation comes at a time when the place of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries is being scrutinized, and even challenged, on a national level," MCNY Director Whitney Donhauser said in a press release. "The Museum’s rich photography collection, begun in the 1930s and growing each year, speaks eloquently to the enormous diversity of our city and the many ways in which immigration and religious diversity has enriched and benefited New York, the quintessential city of immigrants. We are proud to display these beautiful images of Muslims in New York as part of that story."
The release notes that New York’s Muslim community dates back to the 17th century. Lower Manhattan was once home to the thriving community of "Little Syria," which had a sizeable Muslim population.
Beginning with a shift in federal immigration laws in the 1960s, the Muslim population in NYC began to increase considerably, and there are, according to the release, now almost 300,000 New Yorkers who identify as Muslim.
Several of the images, taken in the 1990s and early 2000s hold particular poignancy, as Trump's virulently anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric, endorsed or supported by a sizeable chunk of the Republican Party, as well as a spike in hate crimes, recalls the surge in Islamophobia after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the far darker Islamophobia post-9/11.