The Saladin Days aim to reconsider the idea of an eternal conflict between Christians and Muslims, and to discuss the possibility of coexistence and tolerance
The International Saladin Days were instituted in 2009 by the House of Literature in Oslo, Norway, after an initiative from the Norwegian author Thorvald Steen and the British-Pakistani historian and author Tariq Ali.
Every year, authors, artists, activist, academics and intellectuals come to Oslo to discuss the possibility of coexistence and tolerance, instead of conflict and prejudice, in the meeting between people and countries from the so called Islamic, Christian and Jewish cultures.
In this webpage you can find the programs for previous years, information about forthcoming events and more. Read about the Saladin project here.
- Friday October 2, 1187, 27 Rajab in year 583 after Hijra, on the day Muslims celebrate the Prophet’s night journey to Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, Saladin captured The Holy City. He met little resistance. And, if that was not enough: He decided that no Crusader, nor any Christian in the city, should be victimized or insulted, and he managed to go through with it. Officers kept guard around The Church of the Holy Grave and other locations considered sacred by non-Muslims. Saladin invited the Franks to stay, and called on banished Jewish families to return. Al-Aqsa, which had been converted into a church, he turned back into a mosque, after having the walls sprinkled with rose water. He then freed the slaves, without charging payment, and he proclaimed that he did not intend to hold the wealthiest of the citizens to ransom. Some of his closest men protested loudly. Saladin answered them that “Christians everywhere will remember the kindness we have done them.”
Norwegian author Thorvald Steen at the Wergeland Conference