Home      |      Weblog      |      Articles      |      Satire      |      Links      |      About      |      Contact


Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Sheik Charles of England ? More evidence of his Muslim conversion as Prince comes to US to teach Americans about Islam

Sheik Charles of England ? More evidence of his Muslim conversion as Prince comes to US to teach Americans about Islam

November 1, 2005

http://www.ck15.btinternet.co.uk/99i.html

"...John Casey of Cambridge University, warns that the British public lacks a clear understanding of Charles's standing in the Muslim world:

The extent to which the Prince is admired by Muslims-even to the point of hero-worship-has not yet sunk into the consciousness of the British public...

Casey concludes that the prince of Wales's "hero status" in the Arab world is permanent. "No other Western figure commands this sort of admiration." (see complete MEQ article below http://www.meforum.org/article/356).

MIM: After the 9/11 attacks in which Americans learned everything they needed to know about Islam, Prince Charles told Muslims that Americans sounded "too confrontational", and that 'don't have sufficient appreciation of Islam and it's culture'. Now that his country has become the target of homegrown Islamist terrorism, and the statement "There there always be an England" is now a rhetorical question , Charles has come to the US on a mission to teach Americans and President Bush to appreciate Islamic practices even more.

Prince Charles started his visit at Ground Zero - which hr used as a visual aid to sustain his contention that the attacks were the work of 19 hijackers and "should not do anything to tarnish the reputation of Muslims".

The Arab press totally ignored this part of the visit and gushed about his Islamic propagation efforts with such headlines as:

Prince Charles to Explain Islam to American Public Journal of Turkish Weekly
Prince Charles to Try to Convince US President of Merits of Islam Iranian Quran News Agency

------------------------------------------------------

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174079,00.html

Prince Charles Pitches Islam

England's Prince Charles (search) thinks America has been too intolerant of Islam since 9-11 and the London Telegraph reports that he'll sell that argument to the president during his upcoming visit.
Two months after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Prince Charles told Muslim leaders, "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational" and said Americans don't have a sufficient appreciation of Islam and its culture.

Prince Charles is expected to expound upon the virtues of the religion when he meets with President Bush later this week.

---------------------------

http://image24.webshots.com/25/4/9/6/94940906vijLcs_ph.jpg

MIM: Evidence has been mounting for years that Prince Charles is a convert to Islam. In a 1993 interview Prince Charlessaid that if he became King of England he did not want to take the title of 'Defender of the Faith', and wanted to be called "The Defender of Faith".

The Archbishop of Canterbury responded to Charle's attempt at historical revisionism of a 5 centuries old tradition by stating that : "...like it or not, (he is) Defender of the Faith and has a relationship with the Christian church which he does not have with other faith communions...."http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110003134

A 1997 article in the Middle East Quarterly documented the evidence which lead to the conclusion that Prince Charles was a convert to Islam.

Which begs the question as to if he does ascend the throne - the United Kingdom will be renamed The United Khalifate .

Prince Charles devotion to Islam and championing of Muslim causes in the UK (aka Da'wa), is now manifesting itself in his self proclaimed role as ambassador for Islam in the US.

----------------------------------------------

undefined

MIM :Dr. Daniel Pipes has more on Prince Charles' role as Britain's royal 'Defender of the Islamic Faith' http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/119

Weblog
Is Prince Charles a Convert to Islam?
November 9, 2003

Is Prince Charles a Convert to Islam? In a 1997 Middle East Quarterly article titled "Prince Charles of Arabia," Ronni L. Gordon and David M. Stillman looked at evidence that Britain's Prince Charles might be a secret convert to Islam. They shifted through his public statements (defending Islamic law, praising the status of Muslim women, seeing in Islam a solution for Britain's ailments) and actions (setting up a panel of twelve "wise men" to advise him on Islamic religion and culture), then concluded that, "should Charles persist in his admiration of Islam and defamation of his own culture," his accession to the throne will indeed usher in a "different kind of monarchy."

All this comes to mind on reading an article titled "Charles Breaks Fast with the Faithful in Muscat" in today's Dubai-based Gulf News, which reports on some of Charles' activities during his current five-day visit to Oman:

He toured the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque for almost two hours and "took keen interest in studying various sections at the mosque, including the main prayer hall." As his spokesman put it, "The Prince was particularly keen to come to the mosque today to see the fantastic building and remarkable architecture which Prince was fascinated with. The Prince has a great love for Islamic architecture and I can't think of finer example than this mosque."

  • He "spent a considerable time at an exhibition of Islamic calligraphy and held meetings with Sheikha Aisha Al Siaby, Head of Public Authority for Craft Industries and Taha Al Kisri, the Head of Omani Society for Fine Arts to discuss various aspects of Islamic art."
  • He "broke fast with a large congregation of people from different nationalities as he sat with folded legs on the floor in the open. He ate date and drank juice at the call of Iftar."

None of this, of course, is evidence that the Heir to the British Throne has changed religions, but his actions most certainly would be consistent with such a move, and especially the implication that he had kept the Ramadan fast. (November 9, 2003)

Dec. 18, 2004 update: Prince Charles put himself in the middle of an Islamic theological issue that again could suggest his conversion to Islam for if that is not the case, then on what basis does he opine on the Islamic law requiring that apostates from Islam be executed? Jonathan Petre of London's Daily Telegraph reports on a private summit of Christian and Muslim leaders at Clarence House on this topic sponsored earlier in December by the prince. Apparently, however, he did not get the results he hoped for, with one Christian participant indicating that Charles was "very, very unhappy" about its outcome. That may have been because the Muslims at the meeting resented his public involvement in this topic.

July 14, 2005 update: And what does the good prince have to say about the murder by Islamists of 55 in London a week ago? He put fingers to keyboard and produced "True Muslims Must Root Out The Extremists" for the Mirror.

some deeply evil influence has been brought to bear on these impressionable young minds. Some may think this cause is Islam. It is anything but. It is a perversion of traditional Islam. As I understand it, Islam preaches humanity, tolerance and a sense of community. these acts have nothing to do with any true faith. it is vital that everyone resists the temptation to condemn the Muslim community for the actions of such a tiny and evil minority. If we succumb to that temptation, the bombers will have achieved their aim. Likewise, in my view, it is the duty of every true Muslim to condemn these atrocities and root out those among them who preach and practise such hatred and bitterness.

Comment: This sounds to me like the same apologetics churned out by the Muslim Council of Britain and other Islamist bodies.

Aug. 2, 2005 update: At the funeral of King Fahd in Riyadh, the Associated Press reports, "Non-Muslims were not allowed at the ceremonies." So far as I can tell, Charles did not attend the ceremonies. (There surely would have been a press uproar if he had.) We can conclude that whatever his inner faith, he is not presenting himself as a Muslim in public.

Sep. 4, 2005 update: Prince Charles revealed in a letter leaked to the Daily Telegraph that he had strained relations with George Carey, then archbishop of Canterbury, over his attitude toward Islam. Particularly contentious was his expressed intent, on becoming king and supreme governor of the Church of England, to ditch the centuries' old defender of the faith title and replace it with defender of faith and defender of the Divine. The letter reveals the archbishop's reaction.

I wish you'd been there for the archbishop! Didn't really appreciate what I was getting at by talking about "the Divine" and felt that I had said far more about Islam than I did about Christianity - and was therefore worried about my development as a Christian.

According to royal aides, Charles did not much respect Lord Carey's views and the feelings were reciprocated.

Oct. 29, 2005 update: "Prince Charles to plead Islam's cause to Bush" reads the Sunday Telegraph headline. The text by Andrew Alderson tells how the prince of Wales

will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11. The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

Apparently, he "wants Americans - including Mr Bush - to share his fondness for Islam.

--------------------------------------------------

HRH Prince Charles; on Islam

I start from the belief that Islamic civilization at its best... has an important message for the West in the way it has retained an integrated and integral view of the sanctity of the world around us. I feel that we in the West could be helped to rediscover the roots of our own understanding by an appreciation of the Islamic tradition's deep respect for the timeless traditions of the natural order.

I believe that process could help in the task of bringing our two faiths closer together. It could also help us in the West to rethink, and for the better, our practical stewardship of man and his environment in fields such as health-care, the natural environment and agriculture, as well as in architecture and urban planning.

Modern materialism is unbalanced and increasingly damaging in its long-term consequences. Yet nearly all the great religions of the world have held an integral view of the sanctity of the world. The Christian message with, for example, its deeply mystical and symbolic doctrine of the Incarnation, has been traditionally a message of the unity of the worlds of spirit and matter, and of God's manifestation in this world and in mankind.

But during the past three centuries, in the Western world at least, a dangerous division has occurred in the way we perceive the world around us. Science has tried to assume a monopoly even a tyranny over our understanding. Religion and science have become separated, so that now, as Wordsworth said, "Little we see in nature that is ours". Science has attempted to take over the natural world from God; it has fragmented the cosmos and relegated the sacred to a separate and secondary compartment of our understanding, divorced from practical, day to day existence.

We are only now beginning to gauge the disastrous results. We in the Western world seem to have lost a sense of the wholeness of our environment, and of our immense and inalienable responsibility to the whole of creation. This has led to an increasing failure to appreciate or understand tradition and the wisdom of our forebears, accumulated over the centuries. Indeed, tradition is positively discriminated against us if it were some socially unacceptable disease.

In my view, a more holistic approach is needed now. Science has done the inestimable service of showing us a world much more complex than we ever imagined. But in its modern, materialist, one-dimensional form, it cannot explain everything. God is not merely the ultimate Newtonian mathematician or the mechanistic clockmaker. As science and technology have become increasingly separated from ethical, moral and sacred considerations, so the implications of such a separation have become more sombre and horrifying we see in genetic manipulation or in the consequences of the kind of scientific arrogance so blatant in the scandal of BSE.

I have always felt that tradition is not a man-made element in our lives, but a God-given intuition of natural rhythms, of the fundamental harmony that emerges from the union of the paradoxical opposites that exist in every aspect of nature.... That is why I believe Man is so much more than just a biological phenomenon resting on what we now seem to define as "the bottom line" of the great balance sheet of life, according to which art and culture are seen increasingly as optional extras in life.

This view is quite contrary, for example, to the outlook of the Muslim craftsman or artist, who is never concerned with display for its own sake, nor with progressing ever forward in his own ingenuity, but is content to submit a man's craft to God. That outlook reflects, I believe, the memorable passage in the Koran, "whithersoever you turn there is the face of God and God is all-Embracing, all-Knowing". While appreciating that this essential innocence has been destroyed, and destroyed everywhere, I nevertheless believe that the survival of civilized values, as we have inherited them from our ancestors, depends on the corresponding survival in our hearts of that profound sense of the sacred and the spiritual.

Traditional religions, with their integral view of the universe, can help us to rediscover the importance of the integration of the secular and the sacred. The danger of ignoring this essential aspect of our existence is not just spiritual or intellectual. It also lies at the heart of that great divide between the Islamic and Western worlds over the place of materialism in our lives. In those instances where Islam chooses to reject Western materialism, this is not, in my view, a political affectation or the result of envy or a sense of inferiority. Quite the opposite. And the danger that the gulf between the worlds of Islam and the other Eastern religions on the one hand and the West on the other will grow ever wider and more unbridgeable is real, unless we can explore together practical ways of integrating the sacred and the secular in both our cultures in order to provide a true inspiration for the next century.

Islamic culture in its traditional form has striven to preserve this integrated, spiritual view of the world in a way we have not seen fit to do in recent generations in the West. There is much we can learn from that Islamic world view in this respect.

There are many ways in which mutual understanding and appreciation can be built. Perhaps, for instance, we could begin by having more Muslim teachers in British schools, or by encouraging exchanges of teachers. Everywhere in the world people want to learn English. But in the West, in turn, we need to be taught by Islamic teachers how to learn with our hearts, as well as our heads. The approaching millennium may be the ideal catalyst for helping to explore and stimulate these links, and I hope we shall not ignore the opportunity this gives us to rediscover the spiritual underpinning of our entire existence.

We are only now beginning to gauge the disastrous results. We in the Western world seem to have lost a sense of the wholeness of our environment, and of our immense and inalienable responsibility to the whole of creation. This has led to an increasing failure to appreciate or understand tradition and the wisdom of our forebears, accumulated over the centuries. Indeed, tradition is positively discriminated against as if it were some socially unacceptable disease.

In my view, a more holistic approach is needed now. Science has done the inestimable service of showing us a world much more complex than we ever imagined. But in its modern, materialist, one-dimensional form, it cannot explain everything. God is not merely the ultimate Newtonian mathematician or the mechanistic clockmaker. As science and technology have become increasingly separated from ethical, moral and sacred considerations, so the implications of such a separation have become more sombre and horrifying as we see in genetic manipulation or in the consequences of the kind of scientific arrogance so blatant in the scandal of BSE.

I have always felt that tradition is not a man-made element in our lives, but a God-given intuition of natural rhythms, of the fundamental harmony that emerges from the union of the paradoxical opposites that exist in every aspect of nature.... That is why I believe Man is so much more than just a biological phenomenon resting on what we now seem to define as "the bottom line" of the great balance sheet of life, according to which art and culture are seen increasingly as optional extras in life.

This view is quite contrary, for example, to the outlook of the Muslim craftsman or artist, who is never concerned with display for its own sake, nor with progressing ever forward in his own ingenuity, but is content to submit a man's craft to God. That outlook reflects, I believe, the memorable passage in the Koran, "whithersoever you turn there is the face of God and God is all-Embracing, all-Knowing". While appreciating that this essential innocence has been destroyed, and destroyed everywhere, I nevertheless believe that the survival of civilized values, as we have inherited them from our ancestors, depends on the corresponding survival in our hearts of that profound sense of the sacred and the spiritual.

... In those instances where Islam chooses to reject Western materialism, this is not, in my view, a political affectation or the result of envy or a sense of inferiority. Quite the opposite. And the danger that the gulf between the worlds of Islam ...on the one hand and the West on the other will grow ever wider and more unbridgeable is real, unless we can explore together practical ways of integrating the sacred and the secular in both our cultures in order to provide a true inspiration for the next century.

Islamic culture in its traditional form has striven to preserve this integrated, spiritual view of the world in a way we have not seen fit to do in recent generations in the West. There is much we can learn from that Islamic world view in this respect.

There are many ways in which mutual understanding and appreciation can be built. Perhaps, for instance, we could begin by having more Muslim teachers in British schools, or by encouraging exchanges of teachers. ...But in the West, in turn, we need to be taught by Islamic teachers how to learn with our hearts, as well as our heads. ...I hope we shall not ignore the opportunity this gives us to rediscover the spiritual underpinning of our entire existence.

HRH Prince of Wales.

--------------------------------------------

MIM: This 1997 article from the Middle East Forum was a convincing presentation of evidence for Charle's conversion to Islam, and the conclusion was borne out by Charle's statements and activities in the 8 years since it's publication.

http://www.meforum.org/article/356

This item is available on the Middle East Forum website

Prince Charles of Arabia

by Ronni L. Gordon and David M. Stillman
Middle East Quarterly
September 1997

Ronni L. Gordon and David M. Stillman are associate scholars of the Middle East Forum

[T]he effort for these years to live in the dress of Arabs, and to imitate their mental foundation, quitted me of my English self, and let me look at the West and its conventions with new eyes: they destroyed it all for me.
- T.E.Lawrence Seven Pillars of Wisdom1

Prince Charles has often surprised his future subjects, but few shocks match the allegations of a newspaper article that appeared in October 1996:2

The idea of the Prince of Wales lugging around a prayer mat and turning to face Mecca five times a day sounds a tad unlikely - but, then again, so did confessing to adultery on prime-time television a couple of years ago. So perhaps no one should be shocked by the suggestion in a forthcoming book that Prince Charles has converted to Islam.

This claim was put forward by no less a personage than the grand mufti of Cyprus: "Did you know that Prince Charles has converted to Islam. Yes, yes. He is a Muslim. I can't say more. But it happened in Turkey. Oh, yes, he converted all right. When you get home check on how often he travels to Turkey. You'll find that your future king is a Muslim."3 "Nonsense," replied a Buckingham Palace spokesman, denying Charles's supposed conversion. Lord St. John of Fawsley, a constitutional expert, is no less dubious, commenting that "The Prince of Wales is a loyal member of the Church of England."4 Some time later, a leak to the press told of Charles's "desire to play a greater role in the Church of England," an apparent attempt to reinforce the prince's Anglican credentials.5

Rumors about the Prince of Wales's conversion to Islam may well be inaccurate; even so, the fact that spokesmen official and unofficial felt compelled to deny this fact results from persistent speculation about Charles's religious loyalties that arises out of his statements and actions of recent years. And these, in turn, reflect a larger trend in Western society.

CHARLES'S PUBLIC STATEMENTS ABOUT ISLAM

The future Charles III has made several strong public statements endorsing Islam as the solution to the spiritual and cultural ills of Britain and the West. His public advocacy of Islam appears to go back to 1989, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an edict (fatwa) against Salman Rushdie, a British citizen, for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad in his novel The Satanic Verses.6 Rather than defend Rushdie's freedom of speech, Charles reacted to the death decree by reflecting on the positive features that Islam has to offer the spiritually empty lives of his countrymen.

Charles first delivered a major address on Islam on October 27, 1993, at the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford where he is a vice patron of the Centre for Islamic Studies.7 He declared that the usual attitude to Islam

suffers because the way we understand it has been hijacked by the extreme and the superficial. To many of us in the West, Islam is seen in terms of the tragic civil war in Lebanon, the killings and bombings perpetrated by extremist groups in the Middle East, and by what is commonly referred to as "Islamic fundamentalism."

The Prince of Wales then explained the causes for this distorted understanding:

Our judgement of Islam has been grossly distorted by taking the extremes to the norm. . . . For example, people in this country frequently argue that the Sharia law of the Islamic world is cruel, barbaric and unjust. Our newspapers, above all, love to peddle those unthinking prejudices. The truth is, of course, different and always more complex. My own understanding is that extremes, like the cutting off of hands, are rarely practised. The guiding principle and spirit of Islamic law, taken straight from the Qur'an, should be those of equity and compassion.

Charles suggests that European women may even find something to envy in the situation of their Muslim sisters:

Islamic countries like Turkey, Egypt and Syria gave women the vote as early as Europe did its women-and much earlier than in Switzerland! In those countries women have long enjoyed equal pay, and the opportunity to play a full working role in their societies.

Charles considers Christianity inadequate to the task of spiritual restoration and denigrates science for having caused the West to lose its spiritual moorings. Echoing a common Muslim theme, he declares that "Western civilisation has become increasingly acquisitive and exploitive in defiance of our environmental responsibilities." Instead, he praises the "Islamic revival" of the 1980s and portrays Islam as Britain's salvation:

Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity itself is poorer for having lost. At the heart of Islam is its preservation of an integral view of the Universe. Islam-like Buddhism and Hinduism-refuses to separate man and nature, religion and science, mind and matter, and has preserved a metaphysical and unified view of ourselves and the world around us. . . . But the West gradually lost this integrated vision of the world with Copernicus and Descartes and the coming of the scientific revolution. A comprehensive philosophy of nature is no longer part of our everyday beliefs.

He concludes by suggesting that "there are things for us to learn in this system of belief which I suggest we ignore at our peril."

Among the many titles borne by the British sovereign is "Defender of the Faith," a reference to the fact that the monarch heads not only the government but also the Church of England. But the prince has reservations about this title. In a June 1994 television documentary he declared his preference to be known as "Defender of Faith" rather than "Defender of the Faith,"8 leading to a rash of speculation that he favors the disestablishment of the Church of England.9

Charles has continued to discuss the role of Islam in the United Kingdom. In a speech at the Foreign Office Conference Centre at Wilton Park in Sussex on December 13, 1996, he called on Islamic pedagogy and philosophy to help young Britons develop a healthier view of the world.10 Praising Islamic culture in its traditional form for trying to preserve an "integrated, spiritual view of the world in a way we have not seen fit to do in recent generations in the West," he went on to say:

There is much we can learn from that Islamic world view in this respect. There are many ways in which mutual understanding and appreciation can be built. Perhaps, for instance, we could begin by having more Muslim teachers in British schools, or by encouraging exchanges of teachers. Everywhere in the world people want to learn English. But in the West, in turn, we need to be taught by Islamic teachers how to learn with our hearts, as well as our heads.

The results of this study will help Westerners

to rethink, and for the better, our practical stewardship of man and his environment-in fields such as health-care, the natural environment and agriculture, as well as in architecture and urban planning.

In addition to these comments on Islam, Charles has taken steps to give that religion a special status. For example, he set up a panel of twelve "wise men" (in fact, eleven men and one woman) to advise him on Islamic religion and culture.11 This caused much talk, especially as the group was reported to have met in secret. Some noted that no comparable body exists to inform the crown prince about other faiths practiced in his future realm.

REACTIONS

Muslim world. Charles has traveled extensively in the Muslim world, with recent visits to Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Bangladesh. He has visited Turkey so often that some observers believe that to be the country where his rumored conversion to Islam took place. In addition, he has visited mosques in the United Kingdom, for example, dropping in on one at the end of Ramadan in April 1996.

Some offices of the British government have found a practical use for the prince's affection for Islam. In particular, the Foreign Office uses him as a point man for British business interests in Muslim countries, leading one journalist to comment that "the Charles of Arabia phenomenon is here to stay," for it helps assure British commerce with the Muslim world.12

Although some Britons may be bewildered at Prince Charles's infatuation with Islam, he has become a hero among Muslims. His February 1997 visit to Saudi Arabia

got moderate coverage in the British press-but it was huge news in the host country. In Saudi Arabia, the overwhelming theme of the welcoming addresses was of the Prince as candid friend of the Islamic world. The warmth of his welcome was extraordinary.

The writer of this account, John Casey of Cambridge University, warns that the British public lacks a clear understanding of Charles's standing in the Muslim world:

The extent to which the Prince is admired by Muslims-even to the point of hero-worship-has not yet sunk into the consciousness of the British public. When it does, that public may or may not be pleased.

Casey concludes that the prince of Wales's "hero status" in the Arab world is permanent. "No other Western figure commands this sort of admiration."13

Charles's Muslim admirers can be generous in their gratitude. At a private dinner with prince Charles in May 1997, Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia announced a donation by King Fahd of $33 million to Oxford University to construct a new Centre for Islamic Studies at Oxford, a gift designed "to establish Islamic studies at the heart of the British education system."14

Great Britain. Charles's speeches provoked a flurry of comments in England. In the popular perception, he is a spiritual dilettante, something of a religious butterfly, flitting from faith to faith and veering, increasingly, towards Islam. . . . The sight of the Prince in yet another prayer shawl only compounds the image of a well-intentioned eccentric seeking divine inspiration.15

Others wonder if Charles is aware of the punishments Islamic law metes out to adulterers-and whether he "exacted some sort of guarantee" before traveling to the Muslim world that he would not be "stoned or beaten by devout Saudi or Bangladeshi natives."16

Some Englishmen took their prince's statements more seriously. Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, raised questions about the coherence of Charles's approach to Islam, commenting that "It is not fair to compare the best ideals of the Islamic faith with the worst of Western cultural decadence." Sookhdeo also reminded Charles that many Muslims see in Western traditions the solution to their own problems:

What do Muslims living in a Muslim context feel? Are they content to continue submitting to authority in every detail of their lives? Many are not. We hear much about radical Islamists seeking an even closer adherence to the original teachings of Islam. But we hear little about the opposite phenomenon: the Muslims who are attracted by democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, respect for the rights and worth of the individual and other characteristics of Western society.17

Another commentator reversed Charles's argument and held that some of Britain's million and a half Muslims need instruction in British values:

it would be interesting to know who they [the Muslim leaders with whom Charles associates] are. Do they include Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad, who supports Hamas, agitates for an Islamic state, and recently called for homosexuals to fling themselves off Big Ben? Or the dissident Dr. al-Mas'ari, who has used the new freedom of speech which we in this country have given him to call for the extermination of the Jews?18

Prime Minister John Major reacted to Charles's sentiment about wanting to be known as "Defender of Faith" with the understated comment that "it would be a little odd if Prince Charles was defender of faiths of which he was not a member."19

The conflict between Charles's enthusiasm for Islam and his subjects' leeriness played itself out recently at Oxford, where the reaction to King Fahd's huge gift to the Islamic center met with little enthusiasm. Oxford faculty oppose the gift, claiming its proposed location-on a greenfield site near the heart of the city-would constitute "overdevelopment."20 Presumably their ecological opposition hides other motives as well.

Interestingly, Charles himself has mildly experienced the wrath of fundamentalist Islam. Just after Ayatollah Khomeini issued his death decree against Salman Rushdie, Charles was in the Persian Gulf and Tehran radio denounced his presence there "as a snub to Islam."21 Because of "heightened security concerns in the wake of Muslim furor over The Satanic Verses,"22 the prince was forced to withdraw from a polo match in Dubai. But this brush with Muslim extremists has not dissuaded Charles from reassuring others that Islam's problem is only one of image.

It bears noting that Charles is not the royal family's only link to the Muslim world, for Princess Diana, Charles's ex-wife, has often been linked to Hasnat Khan, a London-based cardiac surgeon. Just as Charles donned a Muslim prayer shawl, Di wore a traditional shalwar kameez during her visit to Khan's family in Pakistan. London's Sunday Mirror23 reports that Khan's family has approved a possible marriage of the divorced 35-year-old princess and their son, then quoted the princess (via a "friend") to the effect that she hoped Khan would father a half-sister to her two sons, princes William and Harry. While Diana's divorce from the heir to the British throne removes her personally from the royal family, her sons could be the first heirs to the British throne with a Muslim stepfather.

CONCLUSION

The denigration of the West at the expense of a foreign tradition that Charles engages in occurs quite commonly among the West's intellectual elite. For some it is Islam, for others Tibetan Buddhism, Maoist thought, or American Indian spirituality. In all cases, the alien is assumed superior to the familiar. Arthur Schlesinger replies to this that there remains

a crucial difference between the Western tradition and the others. The crimes of the West have produced their own antidotes. They have provoked great movements to end slavery, to raise the status of women, to abolish torture, to combat racism, to defend freedom of inquiry and expression, to advance personal liberty and human rights.24

Should Charles persist in his admiration of Islam and defamation of his own culture, it could be, as The Independent puts it, that his accession to the throne will indeed usher in a "different kind of monarchy."


1 New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1991, pp. 31-2.
2 Evening Standard, Oct. 15, 1996.
3 Quoted in Giles Milton, The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville (London: Allison & Busby, 1996), p. 78.
4 Evening Standard, Oct. 15, 1996.
5 Richard Kay and Nick Craven, "Why Charles Is Driven to Build a Bridge to the East," Daily Mail, Jan. 6, 1997.
6 Ibid.
7 "Islam and the West," text of Charles's 1993 speech, MSANEWS of Ohio State University.
8 The Independent, July 1, 1994.
9 For example, Sunday Times, May 26, 1996.
10 The Times, Dec. 14, 1996.
11 Richard Kay, "Charles and the 'Wise Men' of Islam," Daily Mail, Jan. 6, 1997.
12 John Casey, "Friend of Islam Given a Hero's Welcome," The Daily Telegraph, Mar. 8, 1997.
13 Ibid.
14 Richard Wollffe and Simon Targett, "$33m gift toOxford Islamic centre." Financial Times, May 30, 1997.
15 Robert Hardman, "Search for the Spiritual Helps to Restore Faith," The Daily Telegraph, Dec. 28, 1996.
16 Catherine Bennett, "What on Earth is Prince Charles up To?" The Guardian, Dec. 18, 1996.
17 Patrick Sookhdeo, "Prince Charles is Wrong: Islam Does Menace the West," The Daily Telegraph, Dec. 19, 1996.
18 Bennett, "What on Earth?" The Guardian, Dec. 18, 1996.
19 Sunday Times, May 26, 1996.
20 Wollffe and Targett, "$33m gift to Oxford Islamic centre."
21 Reuters, Mar. 17, 1989.
22 United Press International, Mar. 17, 1989.
23 As quoted in The Boston Herald, Nov. 4, 1996.
24 Arthur M. Schelsinger, Jr., The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society. New York: W. W. Norton, p. 127.
25 July 1, 1994.


This item is available on the Middle East Forum website, at http://www.meforum.org/article/356

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

iMIM: In an ironic twist, Al Qaeda ranks Prince Charle's mother - an enemy of Islam despite her son having become an

Islamist good will ambassador , and the Queens's knighting of the head of the Al Qaeda linked Muslim Council of Britain, Iqbal Sacranie.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/11/12/queen-051112.html

Al-Qaeda ranks Queen among 'enemies of Islam'

Last Updated Sun, 13 Nov 2005 00:20:34 EST CBC News

An al-Qaeda leader has named the Queen as "one of the severest enemies of Islam" as he tried to justify the July bombings in London, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported that Osama bin Laden's leading lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, made the comments in a video message issued by al-Qaeda after the July 7 attacks that killed 56 people, including the four suicide bombers.

Parts of the video were broadcast on the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera while the full 27-minute broadcast was circulating on extremist websites, said the newspaper, adding that its staff viewed the entire tape.

The paper said that after Britain's MI5 domestic security service saw the tape, it warned the Queen's security team that she could be a specific target for extremists.

In the video, the newspaper said, al-Zawahiri blames the Queen for what he calls Britain's "crusader laws," calling her "one of the severest enemies of Islam."

The Sunday Times also said the al-Qaeda leader took a shot at British Muslim leaders, saying they "work for the pleasure of Elizabeth, the head of the Church of England."

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the report, saying it was a police matter.

The newspaper quoted a senior intelligence official as saying: "MI5 is aware that there are some pieces of that video that have not been aired. They are aware of the bit of al-Zawahiri talking about the Queen and they have notified the relevant authorities."

Printer-friendly version   Email this item to a friend