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Politics Propelling Conversion of King Charles III

Politics Propelling Conversion of King Charles III

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom now has its first King since George VI more than seven decades ago. Saturday September 10, 2022 is recorded in history as the day Prince Charles was proclaimed as King Charles III. Aside from the challenge of having to (ceremonially) lead a country that is undergoing political and economic turmoil with a Prime Minister—Liz Truss—who has less than  a week of experience in her top executive position, the new king comes with a mixed bag of goodwill and controversy. An international media and tabloid feeding frenzy is already underway.

In his previous role as The Prince of Wales and a monarch of wide international fame, the new King is accused of using his influences to advance UK’s weapons industry deals with his personal friends. He has held dozens of meetings with rulers of repressive regimes in the Middle East since the Arab Spring in 2011. He has “played a key role in promoting £14.5-billion worth of UK arms exports to these regimes.” According to UK Declassified, there is no question that he was a royalty-level salesman for UK arms makers during said period.

The ‘Barack Hussein’ Effect

At the heart of the controversy surrounding the new King is his stance on Islam and Muslims. His affinity with Islam and vision to improve the relationship between the Western and the Islamic world extend for decades. In his speech Islam and the West that was delivered at Oxford in 1993, he said:

“I believe wholeheartedly that the links between these two worlds matter more today than ever before, because the degree of misunderstanding between the Islamic and Western worlds remains dangerously high, and because the need for the two to live and work together in our increasingly interdependent world has never been greater.”

In his previous role, the new King has also taken positions that opposed UK foreign policy. The most notables are: His opposition to the Iraq war and the neocon foreign policy adventures; his disagreement with the notion that those cartoonists who flagrantly offended Prophet Muhammad were merely exercising the democratic value of freedom of expression. Also, his disagreement with the burqa and hijab ban in Europe.

Moreover, the new King is sympathetic to the Palestinian people’s right to an independent state. Granted, as a King, his leadership is ceremonial and his political views must be shelved in his royal bedroom closet, but that will not be enough to tame the usual suspects—Islamophobes and Zionists of all shades—who are determined to ferociously come after the new King to make him an unpopular King by accusing him of being a Muslim in disguise.

In his previous role, the new King has offended some when it became public that he learned Arabic, studies the Quran, and believes that “Christianity can learn from Islam.” Unlike most of the Western leaders, he had no problem offering a counter-narrative to Islamophobia. He refused to accept the so-called clash of civilization thesis popularized by the neocons. “I do not accept the argument that they (the Western and Islamic cultures) are on a course to clash in a new era of antagonism. I am utterly convinced that our two worlds have much to offer each other. We have much to do together. I am delighted that the dialogue has begun, both in Britain and elsewhere.”

And in a speech he delivered in Saudi Arabia 2006, he said: “We need to recover the depth, the subtlety, the generosity of imagination, the respect for wisdom that so marked Islam in its great ages …”

These sympathetic public statements at an era of glorified jingoism and ruthless Islamophobia made then Prince Charles a target. In 2003, two months before President George W. Bush appointed him to sit on the board of United states Institute for Peace, the notorious Islamophobe Daniel Pipes has published a long dossier to implicate Prince Charles as a Muslim in disguise.

King Charles III is set to become UK’s Barack Hussein Obama, at least in being projected as an alien leader. Each, on his own, has undergone an up close and personal experience that inspired him to form his own perspective and narrative on Islam and Muslims. And their respective narratives, needless to say, flies in the face of the traditional aristocrats, the political elite, and the ideologically-driven media.

To bulwark against political demonization, the new King may have to dominate the headlines by taking the moral stance that his late mother—Queen Elizabeth II—failed to take: offer an official apology to all of the countries that suffered exploitation and oppression under the British colonial enterprise. His first step should be that which could be his legacy.

Meanwhile, in a country that virtually drifted away from its religious identity: ‘So what if he is a Muslim?’  



Abukar Arman

Abukar Arman is a former diplomat, serving as Somalia's Special Envoy to the US. As a widely published analyst, he focuses on foreign policy, Islam, the Horn of Africa, extremism, and other topics.
Twitter: @Abukar_Arman
or reach him via e-mail: [email protected]