Multiculturalism in its normative sense is complementary to the attainment of global peace in the light of the Islamic eschatological Islamic belief in the coming of a global savior or redeemer, called the Mahdi, in the future. In fact, Islam depicts a scenario of universal peace with a mosaic of cultures in both dimensions of time and space.

As indicated in Islamic sources, the promised redeemer is of Arab, Persian, African, and Byzantium descent. He was the son of Hassan al-‘Askari and a Byzantium lady named Narjis, among others, who was daughter of a certain Joshua whose genealogy goes back to the Cesar of Rome while her mother’s lineage could be traced to Simon the Peter, the disciple of Jesus Christ. Thus, the promised Mahdi has over one percent Arab and less than a percent Persian blood. He is a half-blooded European (Byzantium) and around 49% African (Maghribi and Nubian).

It is also notably mentioned in the corpus of hadith (tradition) that the Mahdi’s immediate followers and trusted lieutenants are of diverse cultural backgrounds and nationalities; for example, Jesus the Messiah and Joshua (Jews), the Companions of the Cave (ashab al-kahf) (from Asia Minor), the believer from the family of Pharaoh (Egyptian) and the people of Rey, Khurasan and Qum (Persians) from among the non-Arabs.

(“Multiculturalism and Global Peace as Reflected in Mahdawiyyah: Complementary or Contradictory?”, by Dr. Mansoor Limba, Associate Professor of political science and international and Islamic studies, Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines)