Schalke 04  emblem
Schalke 04 emblemIsrael news photo: Schalke 04

Muslims are on the rampage against an old German soccer club song that includes the lyrics, “Mohammed was a prophet who knew nothing of football.” The German soccer club 'Schalke 04' responded that Mohammed lived long before soccer was invented and that it sees no problem with the song.

The "White and Blue, How I Love You" song was written in 1924 and has been the official hymn of the club for decades, but the rising Muslim population in Europe has made it a more powerful force against anything that they consider offensive. They have staged dozens of protests, sometimes violent, concerning alleged offenses to the religion. Several people were killed two years ago in riots over a cartoon that depicted Mohammed with a bomb in his turban.

The offending line appears in the third stanza, which states:

Mohammed was a prophet who

Knew nothing of football, that much is true

But of all the colors shining bright

The ones he thought up were our royal blue and white.

The Schalke club asked a scholar to check the complaint, but even the Central Council of Muslims admitted that it would be best “to take it with humor” and not get too upset over the reference to Mohammed. “From our point of view, the song is neither blasphemy, nor does it constitute mockery of the prophet," Aiman Mazyek, the general secretary the Council of Muslims said.

He added that a recent stabbing death of an Egyptian woman in a German courtroom upset Muslims. "Some Muslims' nerves are frayed - and then there are hotheads who try to exploit this story," he told the Associated Press.

Nevertheless, with three million Muslims in Germany, the soccer club has alerted German security personnel after receiving hundreds of e-mails and letters complaining about the lyrics.

Several counter movements have protested Muslim violence. One British group, calling itself the Casuals, was formed to protest the abuse of British soldiers by Muslim radicals. The group has planned a rally on Saturday.