Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Happy Ending for Star and Crescent on Capital Mall

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Happy Ending for Star and Crescent on Capital Mall

Article excerpt

HAPPY ENDING FOR STAR AND CRESCENT ON CAPITAL MALL

The first display of an Islamic Star and Crescent on Washington, DC's mall behind the White House alongside the national Christmas tree and a menorah calling attention to Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, elicited a roller coaster of emotions among national capital Muslims.

Dec. 19 was a happy day when the large green crescent and accompanying orange star, designed and built by Moroccan-born artist Said Ouafi, was erected in the presence of television cameras from various Middle Eastern networks and executive director Mohammad T. Mehdi and president Ghazi Kankan of the National Council on Islamic Affairs, who came from New York for the occasion. The Council has campaigned successfully in New York for several years for the right to erect Muslim symbols whenever symbols of other religions are displayed on public property, and this right now has been formalized in New York state law.

Dr. Mehdi's group has erected Muslim displays in New York's Central Park, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center.

Dec. 26 was a sad day when artist Ouafi brought a friend to see the structure and found that vandals had torn off the star, which had been suspended from the 10foot-high structure, drawn a swastika on it and discarded it near a trash can. …

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