Leaving Islam




Prince Charles: The Constantine of Islam?

By Ali Sina 


When Constantine began his rule, only 5% of the Western Roman Empire was Christian. He came to power at the age of 24 and did not baptize until he was in his fifties and close to his death. Technically, he did not force his subjects to convert, but he gradually introduced Christianity and changed the laws making it harder to practice paganism. 

He increased taxes for the pagans while exonerated the churches and the Christians priests from paying them. He granted lands and built many Christian churches. He gave Christian bishops the authority of judges - against whom there would be no appeal. He imposed moral codes by creating severe penalties against adultery, concubinage and prostitution. For a variety of other crimes, people were to have their eyes gouged out or their legs maimed. In keeping with Paul’s instructions that slaves should “obey their masters with fear and trembling” [Eph 6:5], he passed a law allowing masters to beat their slaves to death. He allowed infants born to slaves to be sold and allowed slaves who were caught seeking refuge among "barbarians" to have a foot amputated. Slaves in the public services caught attempting to leave town were to be beaten. With the agreement of bishops, slaves who sought refuge in Christian churches were to be returned to their masters. 

Constantine did not abolish democracy, but introduced policies that made the Senate even more ineffective. Cities continued electing their officials but under him municipal governments declined. He revived the secret police, which was notorious for its reputation.

These changes were gradual. They destabilized the democratic system and inaugurated an era of despotism which ushered Europe into obscurantism that lasted over a millennium. The Church received governmental grants to build orphanages, hospitals, inns for travelers, and it founded old age homes, all of which helped increase Christianity's prestige and popularity. Constantine was gullible and the priests used him to advance their cause. 1

Is Prince Charles being groomed to become the Constantine of Islam in England?

Prince Charles has come to America for an eight-day tour. His mission is to persuade W. Bush and the Americans of “the merits of Islam”. He has voiced private concerns over America’s "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate "Islam's strengths". He thinks United States has been too intolerant of the religion. 

What is behind this interest in Islam? Why would the Prince of Wales become an ambassador of this Arabian religion? 

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.

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."

The Prince has not made any announcements about his conversion.  But he is no stranger to surprises. After all, didn’t he surprise everyone with his confession to adultery when he was still married to Princess Diana? 

Charles has made several strong and disturbing public statements endorsing Islam “as the solution to the spiritual and cultural ills of Britain and the West”. When Ayatollah Khomeini issued the fatwa against Salman Rushdie for lampooning Muhammad in his novel Satanic Verses, rather than defend Rushdie's right to free 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. 

His views on Islamic terrorism are similar to those expressed by the apologists of Islam. He believes that Islam has been hijacked by the extremists. In 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, Charles declared: 

“Our judgment 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 practiced. The guiding principle and spirit of Islamic law, taken straight from the Qur'an, should be those of equity and compassion.”

These are the words of an apologist of Islam. They are of course absurd. The Quran calls for cutting the hands of thieves 5.38 and those who wage war against Allah and his messenger 5.33 i.e. anyone who criticizes Islam. If Muslims rarely practice this law it is a credit to them. It shows they are more humane than their prophet. But Charles is defending ISLAM. He is claiming that the guiding principle and spirit of Islamic law is taken straight from the Quran. Cutting the hands is straight from the Quran. What spirit of the Quran is Charles advocating when he brushes under the carpet its clear mandate? Which part of the Quran teaches equity and compassion? No one expects kings to be intellectuals, but shouldn’t they be minimally intelligent? 


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