Make Peace Your Jihad (painting)
Artist: Kathryn A. Barnes
Date of Action: July 2007
Region: North America
Location: Branch County, Michigan
Confronting Bodies: Branch County officials, Branch County Art Guild
Description of Artwork: "This artwork is a representation of the artist’s wish for a world at peace. Peace can only be achieved through understanding, tolerance, and compassion. The figure in this artwork holds up her hand as if saying “Please end the war.” She is speaking to all people, and a red rose is in her palm, the symbol of right to life. She stands in the vortex of swirling chaos, and behind her are the symbols of Islam, the crescent moon and star." http://www.kathrynbarnes.com/PeaceJihad.html#anchor_20
The Incident: The painting was put on display at the Branch County Courthouse for two hours before it was taken down before Courthouse officials took it down, citing security issues. The artist was told that the county administrator did not personally remove the artwork, but that a representative of the Branch County art guild, under pressure from the administrator, had the piece removed.
County Administrator Bud Norman claimed that the piece was removed not for its content, but for the crowd of people who congregated to look at the painting and read the artist's statement posted next to it. Since the painting was located near the security area, the crowd of people who were looking at it constituted a security threat.
After the incident, the art guild voted not to display pieces at the courthouse in the future.
Results of Incident: The piece went on display in an art show less than a block away from the courthouse.