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Muslim scholar honoured by Austria

April 19, 2008

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VIENNA, April 18: The Austrian capital has named one of its squares as Muhammad Asad Platz as part of its two-day programme on European Year of Intercultural Dialogue focussing on Islam and its relationship with Europe.

The programme commemorated the life and work of Mr Asad, described as a great Austrian visionary, who earned international recognition by building bridges between the religions.

Mr Asad, born Leopold Weiss, was a Jew who converted to Islam and translated the Holy Quran into English, says a media release of the organisers.

University Professor Talal Asad (Muhammad Asad’s son) and Anas Schakfeh, president of the Islamic Community of Austria, spoke on the occasion of the inauguration of Muhammad Asad Platz, the first square in Vienna to be named after a Muslim.

Mayor of Vienna Michael Haup hosted a reception, followed by the screening of a film — “The Road to Makkah: the Journey of Muhammad Asad”. The film looks at today’s relations between Islam and the West from a new point of view. The journey starts in Lviv and leads to Vienna, Berlin, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the US and Spain.