Tulsa Billboards Vandalized With Apparent Anti-Islamic Phrase

Wednesday, July 10th 2019, 5:33 pm
By: Robert McCarty, Justin Shrair

A billboard promoting cultural art from a local museum was discovered vandalized, July 10.

The billboard, which was one of two vandalized, was posted to the Philbrook Museums’ Facebook page afterwards with the words “home grown terror” painted on it.

The billboard was promoting an art show featuring “1,200 years of Islamic Art."

“The billboard will be replaced as soon as possible,” Philbrook Museum Director Scott Stulen said. “We could not be more proud to present this show and we will not be deterred by any form of intolerance in our community."

Stulen said this is the first incident of this kind that the Philbrook has experienced. The exhibition which opened a few weeks ago, showcases 1,200 years of Islamic art and design.

"I think it's mostly just being misinformed and I really think it's an isolated incident of somebody seeing something, dealing with a culture that they are not familiar with," said Stulen

Stulen said the show will still happen.

"We want to be a place that is for everybody here this should be a place that people want to come and learn something new and connect with one another," said Stulen. 

Stulen seems to be optimistic from the experience, rather than upset and said, "I do hope that they actually come out and see the show I'll give them a tour."

The exhibition starts on July 13 and runs through the middle of September. On the starting date the show will be free. 

"The more we know about each other a lot of this fear goes away it really does," said Stulen.

The Philbrook Museum of Art released this statement on their Facebook page:

“One of the billboards for our exhibition of Islamic Art was recently vandalized. The billboard will be replaced as soon as possible. We could not be more proud to present this show and we will not be deterred by any form of intolerance in our community. We believe strongly that museums are for everyone. We can’t just say that or have it in the mission statement on our website, we must show this commitment to inclusion through the exhibitions we present and the programs we create. And a quick note to the vandal(s): we hope you see the show. You’re welcome any time. Free admission this Saturday (7/13)."

- Philbrook Director Scott Stulen