Monday, May 12, 2014
Royal News Roundup
The Palace would not comment on the subject, but of course I will: Certainly there are not many political issues in which I would agree with the Crown Princely couple but that does not effect my loyalty to the idea of monarchy at all and I would hope most Norwegians would feel the same, though I am just as sure that most Norwegians agree with their royals and disagree with me on such issues. However, it is worth noting that in this day and age when royals are supposed to be above parties, impartial and totally non-political that so many can embrace caused like those mentioned and not be accused of being partisan (until now anyway). It only seems to matter when it concerns taking a right-wing position. I suspect this will only become harder in the future as governments these days think it is their business to play a part in every aspect of our lives so that ultimately, there will be no issue that isn’t a political one. It should be known that the Progress Party is considered a right-of-center party in Norway which supports smaller government, lower taxes, restrictions on immigration and greater capitalism. None of which would any European government tolerate a royal voicing any support for whatever. It has often seemed to me that royals want to do something, anything and it is no surprise to me that they gravitate toward the causes that they do. Talk about lowering taxes and they will be accused of not wanting to pay “their fair share”, talk about immigration and they will be accused of being racists but feel free to talk about inclusion and climate change all you like -you’ll be “making a difference”. It does not make me feel like becoming a republican, it simply makes me feel sorry for the royal remnant in Europe these days.
Further down on the continent, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attended the National Remembrance ceremony in Amsterdam last Sunday to commemorate all the Dutch men and women, civilian and military, who have died in wars or peace-keeping missions since the Second World War. Later in the week the royal couple attended a “Freedom Concert” and the King attended a play about Anne Frank. Meanwhile, royal sister-in-law Princess Laurentien paid a ‘low key’ visit to Sidney, Australia to attend the Fauna & Flora International. In neighboring Belgium, King Philip held a working meeting with the president and board members of the European Central Bank on Wednesday. On the Spanish front, HRH the Prince of the Asturias was in the Costa Rica this week where he met with out-going President Laura Chinchilla and attended the inauguration of President Luis Guillermo Solis. And, in African royal news, Prince Seeiso of Lesotho teamed up with Britain’s Prince Harry for a summer party in London to benefit their mutual charity “Sentebale” which assists those suffering from AIDS in the small African country.
In Asia the biggest news this week was certainly the implementation of sharia law in the tiny Sultanate of Brunei. Why so many should consider it so outrageous that a country which is overwhelming Muslim and surrounded by other Muslim countries should adopt the Islamic legal code continues to baffle me. Celebrities and movie stars in Hollywood protested in front of an elite hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei and demanded that he sell it. It was a firestorm of protest! Personally, I cannot muster up very strong feelings on the subject, not living in Brunei and not being a Muslim, I cannot bring myself to care a great deal. If you are a Muslim it would seem only natural to me that Islamic teaching would have some influence over how your justice system (what is deemed ‘right’ and ‘wrong’) works just as it does, oh -I’m sorry- I mean *did* in the Christian countries of the west, once upon a time. Ask an ancient Druid what he thinks about the law of Moses being enacted in ancient Jerusalem and his answer would probably be similar to my own. However, I do have to point out a few curiosities about this and ask why so many seem to be picking on the little Sultanate of Brunei in this case.
Where were all of these people when the Shah of Iran was overthrown and replaced by the Ayatollah who, you guessed it, implemented sharia law in his country? They were all supporting President Carter who abandoned the Shah and allowed the Ayatollah to take over. In Brunei, they are protesting against the cruelties of a legal code that was only just started, which had not had time to be cruel or unjust to anyone, yet they were not doing this about Iran which has been stoning women for adultery and hanging homosexuals for years. Where have the Hollywood elites been all this time? For one thing, they were supporting President Obama who wants to make nice with the mullahs in Tehran. Could it be that Brunei is a safer country to protest against, being a tiny, little oil state that could never be a threat to anyone -unlike Iran? Why do these same people call people in America or European countries racist when they object to sharia law being practiced in the west only to stage a protest when Islamic law is enacted in an Islamic country? It certainly seems strange to this observer.
And another thing [Underage readers and people in Kansas stop reading now], I have seen several articles, some of them regurgitated from years ago, by women detailing how they were used and abused by the sexually depraved Sultan and his family. The ones about one royal brother in particular are fairly common and his depravity is no big secret but as for the Sultan himself this seems to be convenient timing to hold him up as a hypocrite. And, that he may well be, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. However, go ahead and hate me if you like, I have no sympathy for these women and am not impressed by the tone they take in their articles, jumping on the current, fashionable bandwagon. One points out that in the sharia law code punishments are harsh for homosexuality, adultery, theft and abortion and says, “There’s also capital punishment for rape and sodomy. I am no expert in international human rights. My only qualification in commenting on this issue is that one drunken evening in the early 90’s, the sultan and I committed at least two of the aforementioned offenses…” Well, gee you modest woman, I wonder which two it was? This is what you call, “Talking About Something by *Not* Talking About Something”. In every case, they claim some trickery was used to get them where they are but I am not so sure I buy that, at least totally. Because, they also talk about living in palaces and penthouses, lavish parties, fabulously expensive gifts and so on. In my book, keeping in mind I have a rather Roman view of justice, once you accept some form of payment, you stop being a victim and start being a paid prostitute. Also keep in mind that these women with all these stories all date from before sharia went into effect in Brunei so, again, why now?
If anyone was actually kidnapped, held prisoner and raped, I have nothing but the greatest sympathy for them and would favor seeing the guilty party, no matter how high born, suffer the most slow and painful punishment possible. However, I have never heard any actually say that, though some have come close. Usually it is a case of, I was technically an adult but young and stupid and made a mistake. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s life and that is not a shocking turn of events when one is starting out looking to cash-in on your ‘physical attributes’ in one form or another in the first place. I cannot have much sympathy for people who are crying about having to pay the stupid tax. That being said, I don’t like hypocrisy either, no matter who does it. But that leads to another question about these salacious stories. They are so heavy on condemning the Sultan or his family for being hypocrites (and I’ve heard similar stories about Arab princes on holiday and how fast they run through the European prostitutes) but it makes me wonder (and I mean this sincerely) if they are upset that the prince or Sultan is doing this or that everyone else is not allowed to do it? I’m really confused on that one. They don’t seem to have a problem with other elites who use women up and throw them away on a daily basis in countries all over the world. Some even get to be President of the United States and are endorsed by the National Organization for Women. So, that’s all I really have to say about the outrage over sharia in Brunei. I’m not for it but I’m not a Muslim so that should rather go without saying and the law wouldn’t apply to me even if I lived in Brunei which I do not. I’d just like to know, as far as the outrage goes; why them and why now?