Arabic characters spelling out “Allah” were discovered on Viking funeral clothes in Sweden, and experts agree that it’s the result of a deep “cultural exchange and shared ideas.”
The words Allah and Ali appeared in the silk found in Boat Grave 36 and in many other graves — and, most intriguing, the word Allah could be seen when reflected in the mirror…
“A giddying thought is that the bands, as well as the costumes, were produced west of what was the Muslim heartland,” she said.
The evidence, she added, supported the theory that the Viking settlements in the Malar Valley of Sweden were, in fact, a western outpost of the Silk Road that stretched through Russia to silk-producing centers east of the Caspian Sea.
We already knew that Vikings traded with people in the Arab world, and that stolen artifacts existed, but this discovery points to the idea that some Vikings could actually have been Muslims. Larsson said the artifacts “suggested not just trade or plundering — but a deeper cultural exchange and shared ideas.”
“My opinion is that those who wore the fabrics must have understood the symbolism,” said Dr. Larsson. “But certainly, the person who wove the fabrics could read and write and knew what the characters meant.”
“Viking burial customs were very likely influenced by Islam and the idea of an eternal life in paradise.”
This is welcome news to historians and people who enjoy learning new things. But white supremacists — who have leached on to Vikings and their symbols as representative of pure white power — are not happy.
They took to Twitter to do what they do best: deny the evidence in front of them.
The conservative consensus on the news was that Vikings might have plundered some Muslim fabrics to take back home, but that Vikings would never, ever, ever worship those brown people’s God, what are you thinking?
Bull article. The part about Muslim theological influences on Vikings was especially hilarius. Al-Valhallah…
— History Twerp (@History_Twerp) October 13, 2017
If learning new information offends you so much that you have to write off archaeological evidence as fake news, you might have a problem.
This isn’t a cut-and-dry declaration that all Vikings were actually Muslims, but it is evidence that some likely were. At the very least, it’s proof that these Vikings appreciated the culture of Islam, and did their best to imitate it and incorporate Islamic beliefs into their own. They shared ideas, instead of blindly hating Muslims. And that’s something white supremacists just can’t handle.
(Image via Shutterstock)