Mohammed (peace be upon him)

The latest rumor spreading around that has people up in arms involves an unusual requirement that exam boards supposedly place upon Religious Education students in Britain (this would involve students in the British equivalent of Junior High School). Apparently "The exam board requires that every time Muhammad is written, the letters "pbuh" in parentheses be placed after it. This is shorthand for "peace be upon him". The writer therefore prays a blessing upon him everytime his name is written, as is the custom of Muslims." This has people upset because it seems bizarre to force people who aren't Muslim to pray a blessing upon Mohammed. It would be like forcing Muslims to make the sign of the cross every time they say the name Christ. This rumor was started by some remarks a British teacher, David Holford, made on his blog. Holford has since removed the remarks (he says people were taking them out of context), but they can still be viewed at Little Green Footballs. So is there any truth to the rumor? In a word, no. Posters on the usenet group uk.politics.misc have contacted the British exam board to ask them what the official policy is, and the response was:

They [the exam board] say that they customarily put an Arabic colophon meaning 'peace be upon him' after Mohammed's name in course materials relating to Islam, just as they refer to 'G-d' in course materials relating to Judaism. They do this out of respect to the sensibilities of Muslim or Jewish students and teachers but they most certainly don't expect candidates to do the same.


Posted on Thu Feb 17, 2005


I note that all the comments on Little Green Footballs (and there were quite a few) were immediately anti-Muslim, anti-Mohammed, anti-Europe, anti-British...
And hardly anybody asked 'Is this true?' or 'How do we know, other than that guy said so?'

How depressing.
Posted by Boo  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  03:09 AM
This site is really going downhill if it links to Little Green Footballs for something. Prejudice and racist delusions are not "hoaxes" but a sad pathology.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  08:31 AM
Well, whether racist delusions are 'hoaxes' or a sad pathology, they still need to be debunked. Better to expose these things to the light of day, rather than let them root around in the darkness. Which is why I chose to post about it.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  08:37 AM
I like to think that debunkings promote a healthy level of scepticism.

God, I'm a suck-up.
Posted by Boo  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  08:44 AM
If you're going to set yourself up as the debunker of hoaxes, perhaps you should also mention that Little Green Footballs published an update to the original post yesterday that quoted the OCR's reply:

<a href=">Link...</a>
Posted by Speech  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  12:08 PM
Speech, what do you mean 'if you're going to set yourself up as the debunker of hoaxes'?

First, I never claimed that I debunked this. Other people (whom I linked to) had already done so.

Second, what difference does it make if LGF has posted an update? All I said was that they had posted Holford's original statement. That's the only reason I linked to them... because I couldn't find the original statement anywhere else.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  01:01 PM
I don't think I've ever seen a Muslim make the sign of the cross, but I have heard religious Muslims say "peace be upon him" after mentioning Jesus.
Saying or writing "peace be upon him" or "pbuh" is not a religious requirement of Islam, but it is a custom many devout Muslims follow whenever they mention Muhammed (peace be upon him) and, often, other religious leaders (peace be upon them all) as well.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  03:21 PM
Muslims would say "peace be upon him" after mentioning Jesus, as they consider him to be a prophet.
Posted by Andrew Nixon  on  Fri Feb 18, 2005  at  05:54 PM
Is that sort of like when you're in Catholic church and everyone starts shaking your hand and saying, "Peace be eith you", and then you have to say, "And also with you"?
Posted by Maegan  on  Sun Feb 20, 2005  at  05:10 AM
Actually, Islam has an exact equivalent of the "passing the peace" practiced in many Christian churches.
The standard greeting among Muslims is "Salaam Alekhim" ("Peace be upon you"), and the standard answer is "Alekhim Salaam" ("Upon you, peace").
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Feb 21, 2005  at  02:51 PM
why is it every one kicks up such a fuss about this when its fair more rediculas that it is compulsery for christianity to be the 'main' religion focused on in R.S.
i couldnt care less about puting muhammad 'PBUH' if muslims find it more respectful however i do care that no one blinks an eye at the institutionalized prejudice in our education system that isn
Posted by luce  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  11:34 AM
hi , i would like to say in comment to the article above , that muslims do use the words "peace be upon him " at the mention of any prophet , that goes for Jesus , Moses , solomon , as muslims believe in the message of all , muslims do not make the sign of the cross because muslim teachings beleive that jesus was saved by god from the crossing , just thought this might help

thank u
Posted by KaZ  on  Fri Jan 20, 2006  at  09:22 AM
Salaam or Good morning

I hope everyone is doing great. May Allah bless us all. I do not understand how can some people see few Muslims act and blame rest of the 1.2 billion Muslims. If a Muslim person did something wrong the media and western people will keep saying that Muslim did it. They should say his name and nationally not his religion if they do so they should talk about other people with same manners. Why can
Posted by khan  on  Thu Feb 23, 2006  at  06:38 AM
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