Even if you are the Prince of Wales and you want to promote dialogue between different faiths, you are going to get ridiculed.
CAIRO – Britain’s Prince Charles has complained of abuse during his repeated attempts to promote dialogue among followers of different faiths, The Daily Mail reported on Thursday, April 7.
“I find a certain amount of ridicule has come my way,” the Prince of Wales said in a meeting with Muslim scholars at the Qarawiyyin University in Fez, Morocco.
He said he was met with ridicule for promoting diversity and accepting people of different faiths.
“One of the hardest things is to remind people of the great truth of traditional Christianity, not distorted Christianity,” said the heir of the British throne.
He said the problem lies in the behavior of some people who find it easier to focus on the negative.
“It’s the issue of stereotypes that is difficult,” he said.
“It’s so easy to concentrate on the negative and not the positive. But what I do is remind people of what we share in common.”
Prince Charles is known for his staunch support for the multi-faith dialogue and bridging the gap between followers of Islam and Christianity.
He has championed several initiatives to boost respect and understanding between followers of different faiths and improve inter-faith dialogue.
Through his several speeches on Muslims and the West, he has stressed the need for the two to live and work together.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Morocco earlier this week for talks on trade, environmental and multi-faith issues.
During his visit, he has been shown manuscripts dating from the 12th century, including an Arabic copy of the New Testament.
The Qarawiyyin University, founded in 859, is believed to be one of the oldest continuously operating universities in the world.
Prince Charles stressed the importance of religious exchanges in promoting understanding between followers of Islam and Christianity.
“…respecting other people’s cultures is the only way to achieve unity through diversity,” he said.
He said mutual visits from religious scholars from both faiths could give “a better chance in the future of ensuring better tolerance and understanding.”
Prince Charles believes that inter-faith dialogue would be much improved “if (Muslim) scholars can come to universities in Britain to study for a year or two, perhaps broaden their horizons, and people from Britain can come here and understand the context of Islam.”
The Prince of Wales himself is patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford.
“I’m one of those people who respects enormously diversity so I try to encourage the consultation of local people,” he said.
“Human society seems to function much better at a community level.”