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May 16

Prince Charles in Indonesia Muslim Row

Prince Charles is Patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies which has invited extremist Vice-President Kalla to speak on 'Middle Path Islam' in Indonesia

Prince Charles is Patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies which has invited extremist Vice-President Kalla to speak on ‘Middle Path Islam’ in Indonesia

The Prince of Wales is embroiled in a row over the persecution of Christians by Muslims in Indonesia.

Lecture on ‘Middle Path Islam’

Prince Charles is Patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.  The Centre has invited the Vice President of Indonesia, Muslim extremist Jusuf Kalla, to speak at 5pm on Thursday 18th May.  His topic will be: ‘Middle Path Islam: The Indonesian Experience’.

The invitation and topic are all the more risible because of Kalla’s involvement in the recent persecution of a Christian standing for election in Indonesia.

V-P Kalla’s ‘Middle Path Islam’ in the ‘Indonesian Experience’ can only be described as intolerant and vicious.  And V-P Kalla himself is still struggling to shake off his student history of encouraging Muslims into acts of violence against Christians.

In 1968 Kalla was leader of the HMI (the Islamic Student Association) of Makassar.  An allegation of blasphemy was made against a Catholic.  Kalla was recorded instructing all members of HMI and other Muslim organizations to come to nearby mosques at 8 pm. After the evening prayer (‘ishā’), the Muslims started attacking the Christian buildings.  Meanwhile, the loud-speakers of the mosques were shouting out ‘Allahu Akbar, defend your religion, be a martyr!’ Page 39 of a dissertation records: ‘The Christian buildings attacked in the incidents were 9 Protestant churches, 4 Catholic churches, 1 nuns’ dormitory, 1 Academy of Theology, 1 office of the Catholic student organization, and 2 Catholic schools.’

Intolerance followed by blasphemy conviction

But it’s the latest example of Indonesian ‘Middle Path Islam’ which will embarrass Prince Charles.  A Christian governor seeking re-election in Jakarta was convicted of blasphemy against the Koran.  The Telegraph reports on the matter here.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as 'Ahok', is a Christian who was standing for re-election in Jakarta

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as ‘Ahok’, is a Christian who was standing for re-election in Jakarta

Basuki Cahaya Purnama, affectionately known as Ahok, lost his re-election as governor of Jakarta because of religious intolerance.  He was then convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.  The trial was held  just a week ago, according to this report in the Guardian.

During the election, Muslim organisations close to Mr Kalla urged people to take to the streets against Ahok.  V-P Kalla himself backed the hard-line Islamist Muslim candidate, his protégé, Anies Baswedan.  This was despite an obligation that the Vice-President must remain neutral.  Baswedan was supported by groups like Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia. HTI distributed a booklet, entitled: ‘Welcoming a Muslim Governor, Kick out the Kafir Governor, Forming a Sharia Jakarta.’

V-P Kalla’s Islamist friends reminded Muslims of a verse in the Qur’an.  Al Madia 51 says: ‘O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.’ [Pickthall translation]  Ahok’s enemies said this verse meant they could not be governed by a Christian.  That in itself revealed the intolerance of Kalla’s Islam in Indonesia

Ahok’s claim they had misinterpreted the verse led to the charges of blasphemy.  Furthermore, the Indonesian court upheld them.

Prince Charles speaks of ‘understanding’

Jusuf Kalla, Vice-President of Indonesia, is a hard-line Islamist

Jusuf Kalla, Vice-President of Indonesia, is a hard-line Islamist

And now Vice-President Kalla has the nerve to give a lecture on how wonderful has been the Indonesian experience of ‘Middle Path Islam’.

And not just its Patron, the Prince of Wales, but the Director and Fellows of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies stand accused of giving a platform to a hypocrite and a fraud.

Prince Charles has a quote on the Centre’s website.  He says: ‘The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies has done so much to promote and improve our understanding of the Islamic world. That mission has great importance in our increasingly interdependent world.  The relationships between Islam and the West matter more today than ever before.’

Dr Farhan Nizami, Director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

Dr Farhan Nizami, Director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

We shall certainly understand a great deal about the Islamic World of the Oxford Centre should the lecture by Kalla go ahead.  It will be a calculated insult to Indonesia’s minority Christians.

Moreover, the lecture will cast a shadow over the heir to the throne.  Indeed, should it go ahead, his only course must be to resign as Patron.

Funding raises questions

The uncomfortable fact is Muslims can be as academic as they like.  Nevertheless, they can never quite shake off the extremism, hatred, violence and sheer intolerance inherent in Islam.

The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is one of a number of such centres at British Universities.  Arab nations have funded every one.  It will come as no surprise that the donations have already raised fears about the promotion of Wahabi fundamentalism.  For example, the Oxford Centre opened in 2009 thanks to a £20 million cash injection from the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.  In addition, the Centre is practicing religious discrimination.  It was promoting a scholarship at this time of writing (May 2017) ‘to provide funding for UK students from Muslim communities‘.

The British Pakistani Christian Association and Christian Voice are joining Indonesian ex-pat Christians at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies on 18th May in a witness against the lecture by Vice-President Kalla.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 

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3 comments

  1. Rox

    I don’t quite see the problem here. Obviously Prince Charles and his associates don’t mean the same thing by “Middle Path Islam” as Jusuf Kalla does, and this would be a fine opportunity to make that clear to him while he is in Oxford. It doesn’t make sense for you to automatically tar Prince Charles with the Kallan brush. Give him a chance.

    What would be disastrous would be if irresponsible demonstrators, whether Christian, atheist or otherwise, denied the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies its right to host free speech. It should be put to good use, being an ornate new building resembling nothing so much as the label on a bottle of Portuguese rosé . Ideal for the job. And the job is civilised discourse, not rowdy demonstrations.

    There were moves to stop Marine Le Pen speaking in Oxford. That is not a civilised way to handle her. Let her make a fool of herself.

    1. Stephen

      It doesn’t quite work like that. When Warren Mitchell played Alf Garnett he thought he was ridiculing that way of thinking. Unfortunately, large sections of the population where cheering his character on. You give the credence of hospitality and an opportunity to witness to someone to whom you give a platform.
      I have never been part of a ‘rowdy’ demonstration. Not that I am saying it is always wrong for a demonstration to be rowdy not in the sense of violent but in the sense of vocal and emotional (and the latter not in the Private Eye sense). It is just that Christians don’t do that. Maybe we don’t do that often enough.

      1. Rox

        It’s interesting that when you see rowdy people, they are not Christians. It’s a good way to spot the non-Christians.

        The character most resembling Alf Garnett in all this is Prince Charles, then. He thinks he is working for reconciliation with moderate Muslims, whereas actually his photograph is being used to attract attention to generally anti-Muslim material .

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