'This Week' Transcript: Michele Bachmann and Bill Gates

Up next, final thought on a new exhibit that could start turning the page on America's relationship with Islam. We have some amazing pictures to show you. So stay with us.


AMANPOUR: Before we say good-bye today, we want to leave you with feast for the eye and a lot of food for thought. Starting this week, visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will see the newly refurbished Islamic art gallery. Americans, indeed much of the world, have understandably had a turbulent relationship with Islam since the horrors 9/11. And by a stroke of bad timing, the Met, which houses one of the world's preeminent Islamic art collections, closed the galleries for renovations for 2003. It was a time when we so desperately needed to see another side of this civilization, when we need to learn more not less about Islamic culture.

So, now, art spans that thousand years from ancient Persia, and Egypt, Turkey and the Arab lands, central and south Asia is on display in all its glory.

The magnificent tiling of the prayer niche from Persia or Iran circa 1354. The emperor's carpet, which took more than three years to restore, another Persian masterpiece, and believed to have once belonged to Peter the Great of Russia.

In the Damascus room, we see how 18th Century Syrian noblemen lived and entertained. And we wonder about today's uprising there.

The Met has laid out all of this, and more, not as an ode to religion, but as a secular regional and historical panorama of a civilization that predated and out innovated Europe hundreds of years before the United States was even born.

To walk through this Islamic treasure trove is to experience awe, but also intimacy and an almost visceral sense of relief, that here lies a thousand years of beauty to counter the last 10 years of fear and loathing.

That's our program this week. Join us next Sunday when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins me to discuss her new memoir on life in the Bush administration.

And be sure to watch World News with David Muir tonight for all of the latest headlines.

And for all of us here, thank you for watching. We'll see you next week.


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