Why King Charles’s support for Islam is important for Muslims and the world

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By Erwin Renaldi


Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

Posted 12h ago12 hours ago, updated 3h ago3 hours ago

Prince Charles at Al-Azhar mosque in Egypt in November 2021
Charles attends a reception at Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo in November 2021.(Reuters)

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While King Charles’s accession to the throne means there are many issues he’ll no longer speak freely on, he’s already made his views towards Islam and Muslim people clear.

“The Islamic world is the custodian of one of the greatest treasuries of accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge available to humanity,” said the then-prince in a 2010 speech about Islam and the environment at Oxford University.

He had a fascination with Islam, attempting to learn Arabic so he could read the Quran, as revealed in the book Charles At Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams.

As a Patron of the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies, the King spoke in 1993 about building connections between the Islamic and Western worlds.

“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,” he said.

“The need for the two to live and work together in our increasingly interdependent world has never been greater.”

Queen Elizabeth II, in a green suit and hat, and Prince Charles in a black morning suit, walking to the throne.
Some Muslim leaders in Australia hope King Charles will follow the path of the late Queen Elizabeth in promoting the freedom of all religions.(AP: Aaron Chown)

In 2020, he visited the Palestinian territories for the first time, wishing the people “freedom, justice and equality”.

He also publicly disagreed with burqa bans in Europe. 

So, what does this mean for the Muslim community now that he is king?

UK Muslim leaders hope for ‘a defender of faith’

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O8jCrILlzA0?feature=oembedYOUTUBEAbdal Hakim Murad gives a Friday sermon about the monarchy and Islam.

During a sermon earlier this month at the Cambridge Central Mosque, English Islamic scholar Abdal Hakim Murad said Charles deserved credit for his efforts to encourage “reconciliation”.

“In an age when misunderstandings about the Muslim religion are widespread, we welcome the fact that the new head of state has a long record of sympathy for Islam, having made many statements in favour of better coexistence, respect and understanding,” Professor Murad told the ABC.

“It is important for Muslims to appreciate that the beauty of their religion is understood by significant figures in the British establishment.”

The reign of King Charles comes at a time when research, released this year, showed Muslims were the second “least liked” group in the UK after Romani and Irish travellers.

The survey by the University of Birmingham said nearly 26 per cent of British people felt negatively towards Muslims.

A woman wearing head cover or hijab and smile to camera
Zara Mohammed hopes King Charles will continue to promote unity.(Supplied)

Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the monarchy had an important role to play in challenging negative narratives, by offering a message of unity and inclusion.

“We also hope the King will build upon his own legacy as Prince of Wales, acting upon his desire to be a defender of faith, and continuing to champion the right of faith groups to practice … freely in Britain,” Ms Mohammed said.

“Moreover, as we look towards the reign of King Charles III, we hope for continued constructive engagement with Muslim-led organisations and British Muslim communities from across the UK.”

Australian leaders accept King can’t be an advocate

Adel Salman wearing a neat navy-checked suit in a portrait taken outdoors.
Adel Salman welcomes interest in Islam.(Supplied: Islamic Council of Victoria)

In Australia, there are mixed views about the monarchy and what the appointment of King Charles means for the Muslim community.

Adel Salman, president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said he welcomed public figures taking an interest in Muslims and Islam and was happy to discuss the religion with them.

“It is great to build and improve the relationship and the perception of the monarchy amongst lots of communities in Britain and around the world,” Mr Salman said.

“But … [King Charles III] can’t take a political position because that’s not his role.”

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King Charles promises to serve with loyalty, respect and love while paying tribute to his ‘darling Mama’, the late Queen Elizabeth II, in his first public address to the nation. Here’s the full transcript. 

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Musawer Ahmad Bajwa, a member of Muslim Youth Australia, also pointed to the expectation for the new King to be “neutral” on political matters, so he does not “cause controversy and conflicts”.

“Even if King Charles may have voiced opinions in the past for all sorts of causes or charities, now he is the King … a lot of his duty demands that he be neutral towards everyone,” he said.

Despite this, Mr Bajwa said she was optimistic King Charles would follow in the footstep of his mother in promoting freedom of all religions.

Now relegated to the history books, Muslim leaders hope the King’s past words prove to be a lasting message of reconciliation. 

“The Islamic and Western world can no longer afford to stand apart from a common effort to solve their common problems,” he once said.

Posted 12h ago12 hours ago, updated 3h ago

source https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-21/what-king-charles-engagement-in-islamic-world-means-for-muslims/101445582

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