The tiny country of Qatar inaugurated its new Museum of Islamic Art, meant to showcase how Islam is a religion of tolerance and not of terrorism.
Sheikha Al-Mayassa, daughter of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, was at the opening in Doha. She is the president of Qatar’s museum authority.
“We want to show that Islam is a peaceful civilization, which has always called for tolerance and coexistence amongst different peoples,” she told journalists.
The gas-rich Gulf state wants to “highlight the values of the Muslim civilization and the role of that civilization in bringing together cultures and human values,” the Sheikha added.
Built on an artificial island 60 yards from the Doha Corniche, the museum houses 800 artistic and historical treasures from three continents, illustrating Islamic culture from the seventh to the 19th centuries.
The five-storey building, designed by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, whose other projects have included the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris, also houses exhibition halls, a library and an education center, explained the Sheikha.
The museum is part of Qatar’s plans to make Doha a world cultural center.