Hear the word “Islam” these days and, for many, visions of beheadings, demagogic mullahs, hollow-eyed refugees and gun-toting jihadis are almost sure to follow. While hardly fair or truthful, this mental slide show is nevertheless an understandable result of the way Islam, or at least acts perpetrated by some in the name of Islam, is portrayed via the 24/7 news cycle. It was something of a balm, then, to visit the recently opened Aga Khan Museum in North Toronto the other day for a tour of its newest exhibition. “The Lost Dhow: A Discovery from the Maritime Silk Route” presents more than 300 artifacts from a cache of more than 50,000 recovered in 1998 from the remains of a ninth-century Arab dhow found at the bottom of the Java Sea.
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