Muhammad: Mercy to mankind – Sydney Ad campaign

Sydney, Christians will have their core beliefs challenged by provocative advertisements which will appear on billboards and busses in June.

The ads, paid for by an Islamic group called MyPeace, will carry slogans such as ”Jesus: a prophet of Islam”, ”Holy Quran: the final testament” and ”Muhammad: mercy to mankind”.

The organiser of MyPeace, Diaa Mohamed, said the campaign was intended to educate non-Muslims about Islam.

He said Jesus was a prophet of Islam, who was to come before Muhammad. ”The only difference is we say he was a prophet of God, and they say he is God,” Mr Mohamed said.

”Is it thought-provoking? Yes, it is. We want to raise awareness that Islam believes in Jesus Christ,” he said.

MyPeace intends to extend the promotion to Television.

Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Rob Forsyth, said it was ”complete nonsense” to say Jesus was a prophet of Islam. ”Jesus was not the prophet of a religion that came into being 600 years later.”

But the billboard was not offensive, he said. ”They’ve got a perfect right to say it, and I would defend their right to say it [but] … you couldn’t run a Christian billboard in Saudi Arabia.”

Catholic Bishop from the Archdiocese of Sydney, Julian Porteous however has different views. He calls the  billboards “provocative and offensive.”

Porteous wants the billboards taken down.

“In Australia with its Christian heritage a billboard carrying the statement ‘Jesus A prophet of Islam’ is provocative and offensive to Christians,” Porteous said.

Shared basic human values

A meeting of Catholic and Islamic scholars recently concluded with a statement that believers of both faiths “share basic human values like the sacred character of human life, human dignity, and the fundamental inalienable rights deriving from it.”

The meeting jointly sponsored by the Holy See and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies in Jordan, called  for respect for believers of all faiths, and demands that religious education should never “form identities in antagonism or in conflict.”


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