Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Prince Charles Presents Muslims an Opportunity That May Not Come Again

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Prince Charles Presents Muslims an Opportunity That May Not Come Again

Article excerpt

Prince Charles Presents Muslims an Opportunity That May Not Come Again

Once again, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, has spoken of his deep admiration for Islam. Addressing a select gathering of academics, businessmen, religious leaders and British officials concerned with Middle Eastern issues at Wilton Park, the headquarters of the British Foreign Ministry, recently, he spoke glowingly of Islam as a religion and culture that the world had much to learn from.

The Times and The Daily Telegraph gave the speech front-page coverage, both publishing it under the headline, "Learn from Islam" -- a headline that carries deep meaning and significance.

Earlier, in October 1993, the prince had made a similar speech at Oxford University, commending Islam and highlighting the pioneering role Islamic civilization had played in the development of modem Western civilization. Dwelling at length on the contributions Islam had made to the making of contemporary Europe, he pointed out that Islam was part of the legacy of Europe and not something independent of, or distant from, the Europeans. Calling upon the West to learn from Islam, he had argued that Islam could teach the Europe of today how to understand and how to live...Islam in its essence, he said, preserved an integrated view of the universe and rejected the separation of man from nature, religion from science, and mind from matter. Islam had a metaphysical vision of man and the world around him as an organic whole, the prince went on to say.

It is obvious that the prince lays great emphasis on the need for a return to that integrated view, which looks at the universe as an indivisible whole. The rejection of that view is the real cause of the misery that modern materialistic civilization has brought for man.

That was the reason why the Prince of Wales pointed out, in his speech at Wilton Park, that "Modern materialism is unbalanced and increasingly damaging in its long-term consequences...During the past three centuries, in the Western world at least, a dangerous division has occurred in the way we perceive the world around us. Science has tried to assume a monopoly -- even a tyranny -- over our understanding. Religion and science have become separated...Science has attempted to take over the natural world from God; it has fragmented the cosmos and relegated the sacred to a separate and secondary compartment of our understanding, divorced from practical, day-to-day existence."

Science Alone Not Enough

This harsh criticism of science by Prince Charles does not mean that science is an evil which should be gotten rid of. …

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