William Gray wrote:
> I don't know a lot about Islam, but that sounds like a fair call
> -- Mohammed would seem to be the center. Right? Is this controversial?
Mohammed probably once was considered by Christians to be the
center of his religion and thus the term "Mohammedism" was coined.
Muslims frown on this.
A snippet from http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_intr.htm
Origin of Islam:
The name of this religion, Islam, is derived from the word "salam,"
which is often interpreted as meaning "peace." However "submission"
would be a better translation. A Muslim is a follower of Islam.
"Muslim" is an Arabic word that refers to a person who submits
themselves to the will of God. Many Muslims feel that the phrases
"Islamic terrorist" or "Muslim terrorist," which have been observed so
often in the media, are oxymorons.
Most religious historians view Islam as having been founded in 622 CE
by Muhammad the Prophet (peace be upon him).* He lived from about 570
to 632 CE). The religion started in Mecca, when the angel Jibreel
(Gabriel) read the first revelation to Muhammad (pbuh). (Mohammed and
Muhammed (pbuh) are alternate spellings for his name.) Islam is the
youngest of the world's very large religions -- those with over 300
million members -- which include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and
* Muslims traditionally acknowledge respect for Muhammad, Jesus and
other prophets (peace be upon them) by adding this phrase or an
abbreviation "(pbuh)" after their names.
However, many if not most of the followers of Islam believe that:
* Islam existed before Muhammad (pbuh) was born,
* The origins of Islam date back to the creation of the world,
* Muhammad (pbuh) was the last of a series of Prophets.
Followers of Islam are called Muslims. "Allah" is an Arabic word which
means "the One True God." An alternate spelling for "Muslim" that is
occasionally used is "Moslim"; it is not recommended because it is
often pronounced "mawzlem": which sounds like an Arabic word for
"oppressor". Some Western writers in the past have referred to Islam
as "Mohammedism"; this is deeply offensive to many Muslims, as its
usage can lead some to the concept that Muhammad the Prophet (pbuh)
was in some way divine.