Muslim Art Exhibit Causes Commotion at College

A photography exhibit of about 100 photos of Muslim women, some wearing very little clothing, is causing a commotion among some students at Harper College in Illinois.

The Muslim artist, Amir Normandi, said he intended his exhibit to be provocative to illustrate how some Arab countries persecute women by strictly forcing them to wear coverings.

"This is photography with mission. Photography with a sense of social awareness... and it's photography with some direction that wants to make a difference," said Normandi, who left his home country of Iran in 1979 to come to the United States, and has since tried to portray his experiences and feelings about world events in his art.

"I decided to use my profession to make a statement and that's when the series started and that's when I gave it the direction for defending human rights or women's right in Iran and other Islamic communities," he added.

But some students, many of them Muslim, complained the exhibit was offensive.

"If we're walking around and if people are looking at us and kind of looking at us suspiciously like is this what Muslim women are like? Are they oppressed? That directly offends us," said one student, Sada Ahmend.

Click in the video box to the right for a complete report by FOX News' Jeff Goldblatt.

The photography exhibit was removed after one day, but administrators insist that censorship had nothing to do with the decision to take down the photographs.

"Mr. Normandi misrepresented the content of his exhibit to our faculty. The pictures our faculty were shown were not the photos that were put up in the exhibit," one Harper College dean told FOX News in a statement.

Normandi, however, told FOX he never misled anyone and said the college's art coordinator signed off on the exhibit. The artist stated that the removal of his exhibit was repressive in a free-thinking society like the United States.

"It's most disturbing that it's coming from a teaching institution," said Normandi, who thought a college was the "best setting for me to go and to try to educate the kids that are forming a view of the world."

The ACLU sent a letter of inquiry on Normandi's behalf to Harper College after getting word of the situation.

An ACLU attorney told FOX News that the letter asked why the exhibit was removed and for clarification on the rules for displaying exhibits at Harper.

Normandi's photography is now on display at a museum in Chicago.