A dozen Muslims of all ages wait to sign a book of condolences for Queen Elizabeth II, in a relaxed atmosphere, during an inter-religious ceremony at the sprawling Baitul Futuh Mosque in south London.
“I am a first generation Muslim in this country,” explains 19-year-old Daniel Said, and “we can practice our religion there under the patronage of our monarch.” In the United Kingdom, the sovereign is not only a member of the Anglican Church. Chief, but also the “keeper of the faith”.
While the title was originally directed at Christianity, Charles has argued in the past that he would feel a responsibility to protect all religions when he came to the throne.
On Friday, he reiterated a commitment by receiving representatives of the major religions of the United Kingdom at Buckingham Palace in London.
Charles III emphasized a “duty to protect the diversity of our country” including faith: as an Anglican and sovereign, “I feel obliged to respect those who follow other spiritual paths.” , such as those who try to live their lives accordingly with their age-old ideals,” he said according to the palace.
During the evening at the mosque, during which a prayer was held, the president of the British Muslim Ahmadiyya community, Rafiq Hayat, assured that “our loyalty to King” Charles III” would be as strong as the one we were showing to His Majesty the Queen. “.
“We live in a country where freedom of religion is real (…). The monarch, like the government, upholds this freedom of expression, of belief”, he said, questioned by AFP.
During his inaugural address, Charles III did not fail to note that during the 70 years of his mother’s reign, “we have seen our society become multicultural and multi-religious”.
For Ian Bradley, the British monarch therefore plays the role of the “spiritual heart” of the nation.
The British monarchy has its roots in Christianity, a religious character symbolizing the coronation where Charles III would be anointed with “holy” oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
But for Ian Bradley, a professor of theology at the University of St Andrews, interviewed by AFP, “the role of the king is to preserve the unity of the nation in all respects, and especially in terms of faith”.
Rami Ranger, president of the British Association of Sikhs, believes that as a monarch above political parties, religions or the origins of her subjects, Queen Elizabeth, very religious, gave them “a vast sense of security”. .
For Ian Bradley, the British monarch therefore plays the role of the nation’s “spiritual heart”, and this “slightly faint” spiritual link is revealed by him according to “the religious words chosen by many to express their feelings for the Queen”. it was done. ,
“It is very different from France, which is very clearly a secular country,” he admits.
He continued, “Britain has largely become a secular post-Christian nation, but many people still appreciate that the monarch has a religious aura.”
“Some staunch supporters of the monarchy are members of religious minorities including Jews, Sikhs, Hindus,” he says.
This attraction to religions in general may have made Charles III a monarch in line with today’s United Kingdom.
He argues that while King Charles is a devout Christian who “goes to church every Sunday”, he is “interested in Islam, in spirituality in general”.
Just as his position to protect the environment resonated with the concerns of the youth, this fascination for religions in general could have made Charles III a monarch in line with today’s United Kingdom.
Among Christians, he particularly showed his taste for the Orthodox religion, and made several retreats to the monasteries of Mount Athos in Greece.
He transferred to a British Jew by visiting Israel – something his mother never did – even though he was not on an official visit. He also commissioned portraits of Holocaust survivors, a memorial gesture that was also appreciated.
King Charles, observes Rafik Hayat for his part, as a prince “had a formidable relationship with the Muslim world, praised the teachings of Islam and made many references to verses from the Qur’an”.
“We think he will be a very good leader for Muslims and he will bring different faiths together”, especially because given his stature, “when he speaks, people listen”, and “its ties to There will be a lot of weight in the “Muslim world, the Christian world and the Jewish world”.