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Morocco Pays Tribute To Swedish Ambassador Who Converted to Islam

Marrakech – Mohammed Knut Johan Richard Bernström, a former Swedish diplomat, was born on Oct 22, 1919 and passed away on Oct 21, 2009. He converted to Islam, and, after he mastered Arabic and learned Quran by heart, he translated the Quran into the Swedish language.

As a diplomat, he worked in SpainFranceSoviet UnionUnited StatesBrazilColombiaVenezuela and Morocco.

He was the Swedish ambassador to Morocco from 1976 until 1983. During the time he spent in Morocco, Mohammed became very involved in Moroccan culture. For this reason, he discovered the values of Islam, and converted in 1986.

For all his efforts to reduce the distance between Morocco and the West, mainly Sweden, and for sharing the true meaning of Islam, Morocco paid homage to him yesterday by screening the film “Between Two Worlds,” directed by Ovidio Salazar, an American director.

The film explored the life of the Swedish ambassador who could live as an open minded, Western man and as a new Muslim who truly love to his religion.

Ibtihal Jeffry, Deputy Director of Tabah Foundation UAE, which funded the film, said about the film that, “No sooner did the Princess Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan hear the story of the Swedish Ambassador in Morocco, did she decided to fund the film, so that it could become a bridge between two worlds that lived in misunderstanding.”

A diplomat who knew the Ambassador, said, “He, [Mohammed], was living between two cultures, and tried to blend between them; as the walls of his house were filled up with paintings of Western and Moroccan art at the same time.”

She added, “he was a speaker of 13 languages, and was always longing to be more knowledgeable; thus he headed to Morocco, where he studied the Quran and Arabic, and he found an ordinary authentic Islam.”

A representative of the Ambassador of Sweden in Rabat said, “Sweden and the Muslim world’s solid relationship dates back to an old age, since the time of the Caliphate and the Viking,” adding that “Museums in Sweden still retain copies of Moroccan currencies since the era of the Moroccan states of Idrisis.”

According to Hespress, the will be also screened in in Rabat, where Mohammed Knut worked as the Ambassador of his country for about seven years.

Edited by Timothy Filla

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