Wednesday, 17 July 2024 20:04

Prince Charles asks why radicalised UK Muslims have failed to integrate

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Prince of Wales has expressed his alarm at the number of young people in the UK being radicalised and queried why the British values are failing to be taken on board by children who grow up and are schooled in the UK.

Charles partly blamed the growing number of people joining extremist organisations on the attractions of danger and adventure, but said the “frightening part” was the role of the internet.

The interview with BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Hour was recorded before Sunday’s six-day tour to the Middle East, where Charles is due to hold talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

This week, Jordan pledged to ramp up military efforts against Islamic State (Isis) after one of its pilots, Muadh al-Kasasbeh, was captured in December and burned alive in a cage recently by the militant group.

On Sunday morning, Charles visited the Za’atari refugee camp, 30 minutes from the Syrian border, home to 85,000 people displaced by the civil war. He was accompanied by the UK’s development secretary, Justine Greening, who pledged £100m in aid to help feed, clothe and shelter civilians caught up in the conflict.

UK security services fear 400-600 people fighting for Isis and other jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq are British citizens. At least 30 of them, one as young as 17, are known to have died during several years of conflict.

Asked about radicalisation in Britain, Charles told Diane Louise Jordan, Sunday Hour’s presenter: “Well of course, this is one of the greatest worries, I think, and the extent [to] which this is happening is the alarming part.

 “And particularly in a country like ours where, you know, the values we hold dear. You think that the people who have come here, born here, go to school here, would abide by those values and outlooks.

“The frightening part is that people can be so radicalised either by contact with somebody else or through the internet … I can see I suppose to a certain extent, some aspect of this radicalisation is a search for adventure and excitement at a particular age.”

In recent days, Clarence House has been under pressure to deal with claims made in an unauthorised biography of Charles by a US journalist, Catherine Mayer. The book described Charles’s court as so riven by infighting that it is known by insiders as “Wolf Hall”, after Hilary Mantel’s fictional portrayal of Thomas Cromwell’s devious machinations on behalf of King Henry VIII.

Regarded as an outspoken heir-apparent on a variety of subjects including architecture, the environment and alternative medicine, Charles’s latest foray into political issues of faith and integration raises further concern that he is likely to remain as vocal when he ascends the throne.

 During the Radio 2 interview, Charles also suggested that should he become king he would still be sworn in as Defender of the (Anglican) Faith, following years of speculation the title could be changed to encompass all faiths. “I said I would rather be seen as ‘defender of faith’ all those years ago because … I mind about the inclusion of other people’s faiths and their freedom to worship in this country,” he said. “And it always seems to me that while at the same time being defender of the faith you can also be protector of faiths. You have to come from your own Christian standpoint, you know, in the case I have defender of the faith and ensuring that other people’s faiths can also be practised.”

Charles added that he had “deep concerns” for churches in the Middle East and feared there would soon be very few Christians left in the region.

“It’s a most agonising situation but then I suppose we must remember that all around the world there is appalling persecution going on,” he said.. “I think the secret is we have to work harder to build bridges … despite the setbacks and despite the discouragement to try and build bridges and to show justice and kindness to people.”

The Guardian

Google+ Google+