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Media Release: WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES AGA KHAN THINK IT IS DOING?

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The Aga Khan Museum, a museum with a mandate to offer perspective and insight into the Islamic civilization, has chosen to host an event that is sponsored by the Israeli consulate. Why would the Aga Khan choose to turn its back on its core mandate to whitewash for Israel?

WireService.ca Media Release (01/18/2018) - January 18, 2018, a concert is being held at the Aga Khan Museum that is a joint venture with the Israeli Consulate. This performance by Yemen Blues an Israeli group is part of a North American tour to whitewash Israel.

The Aga Khan mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. According to its website, His Highness the Aga Khan said "The aim of the Aga Khan Museum will be to offer unique insights and new perspectives into Islamic civilizations and the cultural threads that weave through history binding us all together."

However, the Aga Khan performances page says that since 2016, our World Music Series has been connecting cultures and inspiring conversations. This season the series continues under a new banner of Global Conversations with the rhythms and sounds of Italy, Israel, Egypt, and beyond.

This raises several questions: Why is this list missing the countries that reflect Muslim history and culture? What does Israel or Italy have to do with Islamic history that place them in only three countries mentioned? The Aga Khan website indicates that its artifacts date from the 8th century through to current times, covering geography from Spain to South Africa. Why then are the countries named not reflective of the actual countries where the Muslim culture is vibrant in the 21st century?

Israel overtly uses culture as a form of propaganda to whitewash or justify its regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people. The Aga Khan Museum by holding this event with the Israeli Consulate is complicit in culture whitewash. This co-sponsored event flies in the face of the mission of the Aga Khan Museum.

Just as South African anti-apartheid activists had called on international artists, writers and cultural institutions to culturally boycott South Africa, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) urges international cultural workers and cultural organizations, including unions and associations, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation of events, activities, agreements, or projects involving Israel, its lobby groups or its cultural institutions.

International venues and festivals are asked to reject funding and any form of sponsorship from the Israeli government. Thousands of artists across the world now refuse to perform in Israel, including a host of global superstars such as Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, Lauryn Hill and Chuck D.I However, the Aga Khan Museum, a museum with a mandate to offer perspective and insight into the Islamic civilization, has chosen to host an event that is sponsored by the Israeli consulate. Why would the Aga Khan choose to turn its back on its core mandate to whitewash for Israel?

We call on the Aga Khan to cancel the Yemen Blue event, and make a public statement indicating that the Aga Khan stands with justice for Palestine, and with Muslim people in Canada and around the world. We ask the Aga Khan to recognize that it was a mistake to host an event with the Israeli government through its consulate that white washes Israel's apartheid actions. I

You can find more information on the cultural boycott of Israel at: https://bdsmovement.net/cultural-boycott

 


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