The greenest kids on the block aren’t your Whole-Foods-buying, Prius-driving neighbors with the wind turbines in the backyard. No, the real champions of earth-friendliness are the faithful followers of Islam.
Or so says the Prince of Wales, the royal highness of eco-absurdism.
Speaking at the Sheldonian Theatre on June 9, in a lecture to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Price Charles urged mankind to save the natural world through the means of “sacred traditions.” In the Prince’s ecumenically-patchwork doctrine, our ruthless destruction of the environment stems from an ignorance of these sacred religious and spiritual traditions – most notably Islam.
The Fresh Prince of Fresh Air bemoaned the fact that Islam’s “treasuries of accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge” – these “priceless” gifts to the world – are being overshadowed by the “dominant drives towards Western materialism.” You know, the barbaric notion that “to be truly modern you have to ape the West.” If only we could only follow Islam’s “spiritual principles,” said Charles, then our environmental worries will be over!
It’s all very clear now. For the last decade, we right-wing Islamophobes have had it all wrong. We’ve thought that bin Laden and the like were waging their jihad in the name of Allah. But in reality, their global struggles have been about the restoration of a clean, un-Westernized eco Eden.
Ergo, if you’re of the Islamic tradition and you want to save “the environment” and still get a guaranteed spot with the 72 virgins, fly planes into buildings. Blow up the London Tube. Smuggle C4 on a plane via your underwear. Park a car bomb in Times Square. Stage a “massacre” on a flotilla in Israeli waters. Because the worst polluters and CO2-contributors to Allah’s delicate creation are those materialistic Westerners with their abnormal carbon footprints. Felling the Great Satan – surprise-surprise – has nothing to do with a world-wide caliphate after all. Just greener lives for those of us still alive.
This Islamic eco-platitude works just fine if you view the world through multicultural-colored windows. But reality has a way of smashing thinly-paned glass.
Not more than a week after Prince Charles’s hour-long tribute to Islam’s greener side, members of the Muslims Against the Crusades (MAC) group berated British soldiers during their unit’s homecoming parade in a neighborhood of Barking, Essex. Prince Charles was undoubtedly surprised that the MAC’s protest had nothing to do with the soldiers’ Westernized affluence and environmental unfriendliness.
“'This is a protest against parading in a Muslim area. We love death the way you love life,” shouted one MAC member. “Butchers return” and “Murderers” were also common refrains from the MAC contingent.
Muslims cut from this kind of cloth care nothing at all about the state of the “environment.” And about their “sacred traditions” – I wonder if Prince Charles includes female genital mutilation and honor killings among said traditions. Like the rest of the multicultural establishment, Prince Charles probably considers Islam’s “contributions” in areas like architecture and math as evidence of the faith’s noble, culturally-positive legacy.
But as scholar and author Rodney Stark points out, Muslims never “had” it. “The civilization we typically associate with Islam was in fact the civilization of the Christians and Jews they were ruling,” said Stark in a recent interview. “When those Christians and Jews finally disappeared, so too did that advanced ‘Muslim’ civilization.” Oh, well. At least NASA is here to make them feel good about their cultural and religious legacies.
One of the more dangerous revelations from this episode is that environmental doomsayers, like Sir Charles, will bark up any tree they think can help them “save” the “planet.” Climategate and Glaciergate brought the pure, wind-driven science of climate change urgency to a screeching halt, and now it’s time for religion – Islam – to save the day. Allah has gone green. It’s absurd simply writing that. How absurd must it feel to actually believe this nonsense?
I’m not normally a fan of Christopher Hitchens, but he made some pertinent observations about Charles’ speech. In an article in Slate, Hitchens assures us that the Prince’s remarks drew some “wolfish smiles among his Muslim audience.” Hitchens then went on to quote a document published by the Islamic Forum of Europe – “a group dedicated to the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate” and not the saving of the environment – stating that the “primary work” in establishing a global Islamic state “is in Europe, because it is this continent, despite all the furor about its achievements, which has a moral and spiritual vacuum.”
And the Prince of Wales is first among the vacuous.