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All religions speak of Mohammed: scholars
Express News Service of India carried the following report of a conference of Muslim scholars. A Humanist reply to the points reported is shown in red.
Mumbai, May 21, 2003
The Islamic Education Centre, an educational forum, held a seminar on Sunday at Swastik Chambers, Pipe Road, Kurla, to discuss the life and teachings of prophet Mohammed.
The seminar began with a speech by Jamaat-I-Islami’s Mirza Afzal. Baig spoke on various prophesies contained in the scriptures of different religions, which hinted at the arrival of prophet Mohammed.
He began with the Hindu scriptures. ‘‘In the Bhavishya Puranas, there is a verse that declares the arrival of a mleccha spiritual teacher whose name would be Mohammed,’’ said Baig.
Baig also discussed the Atharva Veda, which speaks of the arrival of a camel-riding rishi or sage. ‘‘It could only have referred to the Prophet, since the Manu Smriti specifies that Brahmins should not ride asses and camels,’’ he explained.
Baig also discussed Christian, Hebrew and Parsi religious scriptures. Asked if he believed these were signs of Islam’s superiority over other religions, Baig quickly disagreed, saying, ‘‘All this only shows that all religions are inter-connected and harmonious.’’
Suhail Baghdadi, a religious researcher, then spoke about what he called the popular misconception of the oppression of women by Islam. He defended Islamic conventions, including the veil. ‘‘Veils ensure that women aren’t molested. A girl in a veil is safer than one clad in a mini-skirt,’’ he said.