Many Muslim students are upset over an artwork in the current show, "My Country, Right or Left: Artists Respond to the State of the Union," at Delta's L.H. Horton art gallery in California.
Called "Kalashnikov Jihad," the work by local artist John Lechner is a life-sized ceramic Kalashnikov assault rifle wrapped in pages of flowing Arabic script from the Quran.
A procession of mostly male, obviously perturbed, Muslim students marching through the gallery doesn't like it, said gallery director William Wilson.
Many demand the artwork be taken down, some loudly, Wilson said. One interrupted Wilson's art talk. Another intruded upon a private business mixer held at the gallery.
Mohammed Al-Otoum, who identified himself to Wilson as a full-time student and an imam, or mosque leader, also complained.
Saying "defacing the Quran" was "unacceptable," Al-Otoum asked that the work be removed from the exhibition; that the Quran pages be separated from the artwork and given to him, "to burn and bury them according to Islamic tradition"; and that officials arrange a private meeting between the artist and a student Muslim leader, according to Wilson, who documented the complaint.
I guess the freedom of speech concept hasn't penetrated theses pea-brained pupils. It would seem to me some diversity training is in order, perhaps along with some anger management and etiquette classes. The religion of peace and tolerance strikes again!