Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Charles in charge, alhamdolillah
I'm probably the only person in the blogsphere who still cares about Prince Charles, but I find the "Charles is a secret convert to Islam" meme so absurd, I can't let it go. It started with the rumors of Arabophilia which I debunked earlier. Another blogger then posted about the possibility that Charles converted, arguing that since the British Monarchy is tied up with the Anglican Church, there is some relevance. Or concern. Or something. It's not clear to me if Anglican Britons actually pray towards Charles and Elizabeth or not, but presumably the monarchy wouldn't bat an eyelid about this, given that being Muslim is no less being Anglican than being a playboy or an adulterer is. Presumably the presence of Camilla Parker Bowles at King Charles' side won't faze Anglicans, will it matter if she is wearing a burka? Hey, Elizabeth can dissolve Parliament, technically. Britain has a monarchy with all sorts of rules and powers on paper, but Charles the man actually lives in the real world. This is why I admire his outreach efforts to Muslims, Jews, and other minorities, because he is dedicated to building loyalty and patriotism to Britain (and this is the best use of a monarchy in the modern age - aimed at strengthening the fabric of the nation. Leave the laws and the foreign policy to the Ministers).
Glenn pointed to another article, dating from 1997, which also raises alarmist fears about Charles' conversion. The idea is not new. If anything it underlies how reactionary the idea is. The article is a joke - it invokes the Grand Mufti of Cyprus as an authority - that sound you hear is the collective shrug of a thousand muslim shoulders. Who?
Then it goes to take a number of Charles' reasonable comments about what embracing diversity can do to enrich the social and political fabric of Britain, and twoists them into wild accusations about "defamation of his own culture" and "denigration of the West". Overall it's just another attempt to smear Charles efforts at recognizing that the face of Britain is multicultural and diverse into some kind of broadly implied treason.