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The peacemaker Muhammad

Forget Mother Theresa, Mandela and Gandhi. Muhammad is our role model.


[Islam] A month is not a long time, but considering the insistent call, the Oslo Fjord should have long been a pool of blood. "Muslims, avenge your prophet. We sincerely and sincerely want Denmark, Norway and France to be hit hard and destroyed [...] Destroy their buildings, make the earth shake and turn them into lakes of blood. ”The statements come from Al Qaeda's sheikh Abu Yahia al-Libi , and was communicated to the world around May 12. For 35 minutes he beat the message with religious glow; Bring out the sword, and attack!

It is possible tens of thousands of Pakistanis, Turks and Somalis are gathering troops at the time of writing, but that seems unlikely. The Andeby life on Karl Johans gate goes its way. Swords have also gone out of fashion as an effective murder weapon.

It just doesn't seem like Norwegian Muslims are interested in shaking our foundations. Maybe it's because they don't master the art of making earthquakes, maybe it's because of a lack of interest in civil war? Or is it because they believe in a prophet who has nothing to do with the prophet of Sheikh Abu Yahia al-Libi?

On the same day as the violent video came on the market, a Muhammad seminar was held in Copenhagen. There, Chris Hewer, affiliated with St. Ethelburga's Center for Reconciliation and Peace in London, stated that "many parts of Muhammad's life are an example to follow, especially for Christians." Kindness, generosity, easy living and forgiveness were traits we can learn from the founder of Islam, as well as the fact that he was a democratically minded head of state who consulted especially women and the elderly.

Religious historian Jørgen Bæk Simonsen followed up with encouraging Danes to gain more knowledge about the Prophet and Islamic tradition. He himself has contributed to it with the book Islam with Danish eyes. Danes' view of Islam through 1000 years, a reminder that religion has been a part of the Danish public since the days of King Harald Blåtann (who invented the bluetooth).

In our ears, this sounds like provocation for the sake of provocation, but both can find support for their claims in biographies of the prophet. In his Muhammad. A Biography of the Prophet, Karen Armstrong writes that Muhammad was a peacemaker and is a role model. He "wrote off violence, and followed a bold, inspirational non-violence line that was worthy of Gandhi." She recalls that the word Islam, which is often translated as "surrender," has the same linguistic origin as the word for peace, salam. The orphaned and caring Muhammad was especially fond of children and animals, we can read in Muhammad. Prophet and Statesman by W. Montgomery Watt.

Now it is just before the Prophet is made the saint of Pope Benedict XVI. It has no purpose. Mohammed was perhaps God's best child, but can hardly be made a hero for a modern sophomore. Religious founders manage well without secular glories. But to imagine Muhammad as a modern peace activist of Gandhi casting takes on the cap of krakilish urges from pompous sheikhs. It is a useful thought experiment. Maybe not for Muslims who know their Muhammad biography, but for us others who have sharpened the scout knife and traded canned food until the earthquake comes.

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