Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

US-based Saudi students launch Prophet Muhammad campaign | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – In reaction to the highly offensive film released earlier this year, six Saudi students in America have embarked on an initiative to familiarize people with the real Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in a civilized manner that is far from conventional. Young students enrolled at the University of Dayton, Ohio, have launched the project in a manner they describe as “innovative and civilized, in order to present a true picture of the Prophet, unlike that portrayed by those who seek to insult him”, in the words of Abdul Muhsin Abdul Kareem, a member of the team carrying out the initiative.

In a telephone interview with Asharq al-Awsat, Abdul Kareem added: “We prepared roses carrying labels that read in English ‘Who is Muhammed’, and on the other side there is a brief biography of the Prophet, pbuh, and a link to a website containing more extensive and detailed information”.

The students placed more than 200 cards amid a garland of roses, and distributed them throughout the university with the help of the University of Dayton Arabic Club. The group spent many days preparing for the project, and purchased a large number of roses.

Abdul Kareem explained that “we are seeking to portray a positive image of Saudis studying abroad, and at the same time we want to practically support the Prophet, pbuh, and the Muslims”.

Ahmed al-Safran, who also participated in the project, said: “We adopted an attractive approach to familiarize people with the Prophet, pbuh, by delivering flowers and gifts. This put a smile on people’s faces, and American culture is receptive to this approach”.

The initiative was accompanied by pictures posted on social networks, and it has garnered much interest. The remaining members of the team; Mohammed al-Manea, Adib Luhaidan, Yusuf al-Rumaih and Abdullah al-Shammari, managed to get other students to participate in other states and cities, in order to spread the word and apply similar ideas in their own universities.

The offensive film about the Prophet Muhammed sparked outrage throughout most of the Islamic world earlier this year, leading to protests in Libya, Egypt, Pakistan and other Muslim states. At the same time, youths from Arab, Islamic and Western countries produced a series of video clips to inform people about the real Prophet Mohammed, pbuh, and the true nature of Islam. They posted these clips on YouTube and other social networking websites, using the same methods originally adopted by the producers of the offensive film. These youths preferred not to go down the path of protests, opting not to involve or expose those who hadn’t issued anything offensive.