This Christmas, Prince Charles dropped a bombshell on his audiences around the world.
In a recent Christmas message, the first in line to England’s throne shocked all by comparing the religious persecution of Jesus and his followers with the conquest of Medina by Muhammad and early Muslims.
The Prince was addressing the nation through public radio. In a short early morning slot on BBC Radio 4, called the Thought for the Day, he urged people to look back in history and remember the persecution of religious communities.
There was one big mistake, however.
What he said
In the short message, the Prince said:
Normally at Christmas we think of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder though if this year we might remember how the story of the nativity unfolds, with the fleeing of the holy family to escape violent persecution. And we might also remember that when the prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina he was seeking the freedom for himself and his followers to worship.
He then used this example to criticize populist movements and urged his subjects to encourage and welcome the migration of people from other communities.
What it means
The remarks by Prince Charles are wrong on so many levels. It’s a message that is not only offensive to our post-modern sensibilities but also woefully ignorant about the realities of the spread of Islam.
Muhammad and his followers were not exactly being persecuted like Jesus. He was not crucified like Jesus. He didn’t suffer for our sins. On the contrary, he was pretty much the head of the government at Medina, the city to which he migrated. On his orders, the Jews of Medina were massacred while the women and children were taken as slaves. How exactly would that truth encourage us to welcome his followers with open arms?
It’s time that the members of the Royal family stop using lies for political propaganda. It’s also about time they learn the difference between the persecuted and the persecutors.