by Chauncey Tinker – 21 Nov 2017
By ElizabethIItroopingcolour.jpg: Sandpiperderivative work: SilkTork (talk) - ElizabethIItroopingcolour.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9495405
Of course the royal family don’t really rule as such, we live in a constitutional monarchy. The monarch is supposed to be just a figurehead, but in reality its more complicated than that. Even simply by their existence they have a degree of influence in fact, particularly because the monarch is also the head of the Commonwealth of Nations.
A problem is that the royalty try to be all things to all people. This means that in our wonderfully diverse multi-cultural society they feel they have to appear not just friendly towards but also protective of all faiths. This is no doubt partly why Prince Charles seems to want an extract from the Koran to be read out at his coronation. A beautiful sentiment indeed, we suggest that perhaps this beautiful verse might be suitable?
Quran 8:12 - “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them“
Unfortunately although this verse is beautiful for Muslims to hear its really not so beautiful for many non-Muslims as they feel the violence described is rather threatening to them, possibly we might even say terrifying. So in attempting to be friendly towards all people in the UK today it may be that the monarchy will increasingly find themselves to be the friends of nobody.
The Queen made her first visit to a mosque in the UK apparently in 2002, not so very long after the September 11th attack in New York. From the BBC in 2002:
Royal first as Queen visits mosque
She even visited a mosque in Turkey wearing a headscarf in 2008. From the DT:
Queen dons Muslim headscarf to visit Turkish mosque
The problem gets larger still when you consider the fact that the monarch is not simply the monarch of the United Kingdom, they are also the head of the entire Commonwealth of Nations, the total population of which is a truly staggering 2.48 billion people. The numbers of Muslims in the world is also rapidly increasing while the numbers of non-Muslims is in decline. Consequently the Islamic religion is on track to be the largest religion in the world by 2070.
By Rob984 - Derived from File:BlankMap-World-Microstates.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50344792
The influence of Islam within the Commonwealth is also likely to grow substantially since the Commonwealth contains a number of Muslim majority countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia with high birth rates and countries with very large numbers of Muslims such as Nigeria (nearly half) and India also with high birth rates. The Muslim population of the UK is of course also growing rapidly. Further there are some Muslim majority countries that have expressed an interest in joining including Sudan and Algeria.
Islam will be largest religion in the world by 2070, says report
We can imagine the disquiet that would be caused in these countries if our monarch appeared to be less than favourably disposed towards Islam. No surprises then that when former Chaplain to the Queen the Reverend Gavin Ashenden began to make statements that were really rather critical of the Islamic religion, it wasn’t long before he was looking elsewhere for work.
We might imagine that membership of the Commonwealth might come with some degree of expectation that human rights would be respected and that perhaps that there might be some penalty such as suspension for countries that failed to live up to such standards. There have been some suspensions from the councils of the Commonwealth, including the suspension of Pakistan following the overthrow of a democratically elected govt. in 1999. The suspension was lifted in 2004 and reimposed in 2007 before being lifted again in 2008:
CMAG met again on 12 May 2008 and agreed that the Government of Pakistan had taken positive steps to fulfil its obligations in accordance with Commonwealth fundamental values and principles; it accordingly decided to restore Pakistan to the councils of the Commonwealth.
It would seem the “fundamental values and principles” of the Commonwealth do not cover matters such as the death penalty for blasphemy however, which has been in force in Pakistan since 1990. Recently there has even been a case of a man in Pakistan being sentenced to death for blasphemous content on Facebook. Truly Pakistan has entered the digital age!!!
In one case a Christian woman has been on death row for around 8 years in appalling conditions for merely allegedly mildly criticizing the man Muslims regard as their prophet:
Asia Bibi: Pakistan Supreme Court adjourns death row appeal
I have searched in vain for any single news report, but alas it seems (from my searches at least) that the Queen has never spoken out publicly about the plight of Asia Bibi or any of the other people who have been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.
Of course the monarch is really only a figurehead in the Commonwealth as well as the UK, but you would think that she would be in a position to bring some influence to bear on a member state in such a very serious case. You would also think her officials might be able to quietly agitate for the suspension of a country with such an appalling disregard for the rights of its citizens. Otherwise in what sense is she really the “head” of the institution at all?
Also the terrible phenomenon of genocide of Christians has extended to some Commonwealth countries:
Genocide of Christians ‘on the rise’ in Africa and the Middle East
Commonwealth nations where Christians face difficulties include Pakistan and Nigeria, and, to a lesser extent, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Is it too much to expect that the Royal Family will eventually wake up to this problem, that there is a growing tension between the belief systems that exist in this group of countries of which they are the figurehead, not to mention within the United Kingdom as well? Can they really be the defenders of all faiths when one of those faiths calls for its followers to fight the followers of the other faiths of their “subjects”? Will they take the moral high ground and speak out against the immoral teaching of such a religion that has been exposed to the world by the communication revolution? Can we continue to respect them if they do not?
Alas it is probably too much to expect that the current heir to the throne will come to such a realization, fond as he is of donning Arabic dress and participating in ritual sword dances. Perhaps the younger princes’ experiences in war-torn Afghanistan may have exposed them at least a little to the realities of life in societies dominated by this belief system.
I am not antagonistic towards the monarchy in principle, it seems to me to have been a force for stability in our country in the past. However I find myself losing respect for the institution in the light of all these considerations, and if Prince Charles becomes King my respect may I am afraid disappear altogether. I think our monarch should be a person knowledgeable on the subject of the major faiths in the countries of the Commonwealth, especially in light of the growing tensions. Their role may be limited to that of a figurehead, but they do not have to appear to so enthusiastically embrace a religion that obviously leads to such terrible human rights violations and violence. There must be resistance to such a religion! The monarch could for example indicate a lack of enthusiasm by not visiting mosques with a headscarf on!
If you type the word patriotism into a Google search you will find first many references to a quote from Samuel Johnson are returned in the results (including a tweet from J K Rowling that repeats it):
patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel
Patriotism used to be regarded as a virtue before the powers that be in the West decided to force the pace and push us headlong towards a new world order, whether the world was ready for such an “order” or not. In the world wars men were asked to serve “for King and Country”. However today we must ask ourselves whether our monarch (or our future monarch) is a person we would be prepared to sacrifice our lives to defend? Is the institution of the monarchy unwittingly helping to pave the way for Islam to dominate the whole world? Is that what we want?
We must also remember that we live in a democracy. The growing disregard shown by the establishment for the defence of our borders and for the equal rule of law within our country is leading to a rising tide of anti-establishment sentiment, but it is also our own complacency and apathy that has allowed the nation to deteriorate to this point. We must make our voices heard from the rooftops. No extract from the Koran may be read out at the coronation, it would be an insult to all the non-Muslims (i.e. the vast majority) of the UK’s population. Let us make Britain great again by bravely standing up and letting the world know what we think of barbaric belief systems.
If the Commonwealth is an institution that has no moral principles then we should ask whether we should even continue to be a part of it let alone be leading it! We should call for the suspension of countries that commit human rights violations and allow the genocide of the Christians and other ethnic minorities within them. If the monarchy stands in the way of such a plan then they must be reminded that they are there only because the people of the United Kingdom support them, and that our support may cease. If they object to the recovery of our dignity and moral principles they could soon be finding that they too (like the good chaplain) are looking elsewhere for work.
Member countries of the Commonwealth
Freedom of movement within Commonwealth more popular than within EU
From the Express:
Royal Family hit by FEUD claims: Camilla ‘livid’ at William and Kate future roles
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.