Prince Charles tries, unsuccessfully, to ‘hijack’ a religion

Weren’t we just talking about this? Why, yes we were, and here’s Prince Charles, in a speech at a Saudi University, already taking the lead on the task of finding new metaphors in Islamic texts so that sharia can save itself in its conflict with the modern world (via Guardian):

Focusing on the interpretation of religious texts, Charles told his audience: “We need to recover the depth, the subtlety, the generosity of imagination, the respect for wisdom that so marked Islam in its great ages …”What was so distinctive of the great ages of faith surely was that they understood, that as well as sacred texts, there is the art of interpretation of sacred texts – between the meaning of God’s word for all time and its meaning for this time.”

Prince Charles’ attempt to hijack Saudi Islam by injecting a little metaphor into its dreary, oppressive literalism was profoundly unsuccessful. In Saudi Arabia it is apparently literally true that some things never change; the paranoia in the second paragaph is also a nice touch:

Initial reactions to the speech from students interviewed by Reuters were far from encouraging. “Charles and the west don’t understand the true Islam,” said one student, Maher al-Sehili. “There’s nothing to change,” said another. “Islam can adapt to any era and any place, but there are no two interpretations to its sacred texts,” said a third.

A 21-yer-old student called Abu Dijana added: “He (Charles) should remember that the Qur’an is sacred. I don’t trust them (westerners) and the Qur’an says it clearly – Jews and Christians will not be satisfied until you follow their path.”

It’s also unlikely that the Prince’s words will generate much wider debate in Saudi Arabia if the Saudi Gazette is anything to judge by. Its report of the speech consisted of vague generalities without a single quote. Not entirely surprising, considering that the reporter assigned to the task was a woman and women were barred from attending.

Well, that was a good try by the Prince, and a dreary, predictable, annoying and tedious response from the mind-numbed Saudi robots, which inspires us to a question. Which is more annoying and tedious: (a) watching fundamentalist Islam head for its nervous breakdown as the modern world refuses to cease its existence in the face of the religious demands that it must; or (b) listening to adminstration functionaries prattle on about the “religion of love and peace.”

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