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News Code: 656


Prophet ads show Islam image in Australia

 "This is a response to misinformation,” Diaa Mohamed, founder of Mypeace organization, which is working to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims, said. 

“Not many (Australians) are aware of who the Prophet is and why we regard him so highly and so emotionally.” 

The group is planning a series of TV commercials next month to raise public awareness about the Prophet. 

The ads will feature historic figures speaking about the virtues of the Prophet as Mahatma Gandhi and George Bernard Shaw. 

The ads follow tension that grew after violent protests by Australian Muslims against a US-made film mocking the Prophet of Islam (PBUH). 

The film had triggered deadly protests around the world in September, which left scores of people dead. 

"Muhammad is the most influential man in history and the commercials will show what scholars and historians have said about him,” Mohamed said. 

Several world figures have hailed the virtues of Prophet Muhammad. 

Gandhi has said that “I wanted to know the best of life of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind”. 

“I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his fearlessness, and his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.” 

Bernard Shaw has also praised Prophet Muhammad. 

"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality,” he wrote. 

“It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. 

“I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. 

“I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today." 

Sydney has one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the world, with 70 different national and ethnic backgrounds, among them Lebanese, Turkish, Afghan, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani, Bosnian, South African and Fijian. 

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.