Christchurch's South Library hosted a much-appreciated multicultural expression of Islamic arts, an exhibition of items and images belonging to 40 different ethnic Muslim groups living in the city, for the week ending on April 9. It was organised by the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust (CMCT) with support from Creative Communities NZ. Notably, according to the 2013 Census, the population of Muslims in Christchurch was 3,250, which is around 0.6 per cent of the region's population.
Meanwhile, of the 53 displays in the four categories of architectural, decorative, calligraphy and textile arts, some treasures were depicting the rich Indian Islamic history as well. It included pictures denoting - the stone carving details of calligraphy at the Qutub Minar complex in Delhi, the interior of the prayer area of Taj Mahal mosque in Agra, and the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah also in Agra.
Dr Raqayya Sulaiman-Hill from CMCT who thought of the idea last year noted, “Muslims often get a lot of bad publicity, so I thought it was a good idea to show the Muslim community in a good light, as well as exhibit the beauty and the diversity within our community.”
In all, the display had over 16 different countries represented, with Muslims contributing art pieces either from their own homes in Christchurch or their countries of origin. CMCT also prepared some posters and short descriptions to help people understand more about the objects on display and develop a better understanding of Islam.