Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Betul Ker?

First Prince Charles,

Now Tony Blair?

After the allegations about being a closet Muslim or a crypto-Armenian, there is another issue now.

Is Britain's Prince Charles a Muslim? It was asserted in 1997 for the first time, I guess. In an article of Middle East Quarterly, it was claimed that Prince Charles might be a secret convert to Islam. In the last 12 years, such assumptions persisted.

And now, Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair is on the line again. "I regularly read the Koran, practically every day," Blair told Die Zeit. He also said that Prophet Mohammed had been "an enormously civilizing force." (These words cannot be regarded as a breakthrough, though, because Blair had once told that "Koran inspired him" even when he was still in the office.)
Actually, I, as a person who tries to stay in the frame of political science, don't really mind if these British leaders are Muslim or not. As we don't live in the Middle Ages anymore, the religious orientation of a political leader binds only himself; not his citizens. Moreover, according to my own faith, the religion is a private matter between God and His subject.
However, I should also admit that the rumors about these two important figures are significant in one way, if we would like to understand the British society -and the Western people- of our century. If we evaluate them sociologically, maybe we can reach to a conclusion which was formulated by George Bernard Shaw decades ago. His following words might be even more relevant today:

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe, within the next hundred years, it could be Islam. (...) I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess the assimilating capacity to changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age." (Sir George Bernard Shaw, The Genuine Islam, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)."

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