First-ever international Quran exhibit in U.S. attracts many visitors

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Historic Qurans have been on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Sackler Gallery of Asian Art in Washington, D.C. since October, and museum workers said the exhibit has attracted many visitors.

It’s the first time for the Qurans to leave Turkey, where they were on exhibit at the Istanbul Museum of Islamic Art.

“This is a rare opportunity for American Muslims because of the stature of the Smithsonian and the breadth of the Qurans being exhibited,” said Ilhan Cagri, research and program fellow with the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, D.C.

The exhibit features various Qurans of different sizes and styles. It also represents historical and geographic backgrounds from the 8th through the 14th centuries.

Security guards at the exhibit said there has been no negativity. Instead, they said it has opened people’s eyes to Islam and to the beauty of the Quran.

“It has shined a positive light on everyone,” one security guard said. “People leave with a more positive picture of Islam and Muslims.”

The exhibit will be open to the public until February 20, 2017.

Special tours are offered for school and mosque groups. There are also opportunities for small, private tours of rare Islamic artworks in the vaults of the gallery.

See photos from the exhibit:

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