Monday, January 12, 2009

Thoughts on Prince Harry

When Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party nearly four years ago I chastised him fairly severely. (

I did so not so much because of the associations with anti-Semitism but because I thought he brought dishonor to his family. After Buckingham Palace was bombed by the Nazis during the blitz on London nearly a dozen times. The Royals could have gone to Canada during the War but instead chose to remain thus giving a much needed boost to morale. The Queen Mother, in particular, frequently visited areas that had been bombed especially in East London. It was a big reason for her lifelong popularity.

In any case, Harry redeemed himself with his service in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, it is his military service that has gotten him in trouble again. While videotaping an military exercise in Cyprus in 2005 the third in line to the British throne refers to one of his colleagues as a "Paki" and another as a "raghead." The "Paki" in question is Ahmed Raza Khan, now a Captain in the Pakistani Army. He also made remarks considered disrespectful to Queen Elizabeth II. The political class in Britain have roundly condemned Harry as has the Muslim community.

These are my thoughts. First, one must ask oneself if one would want to make such utterances on videotape much less in one's own private thoughts. The Prince showed a lack of discretion here. Second, "Paki" was allegedly Khan's nickname in the squadron. If so that is something that should have never been uttered in earshot of anyone beyond the squadron. Again, a lack of discretion on the part of the Prince. Finally, my two previous statements notwithstanding I don't think Prince Harry needs lectures from Britain's Muslim community. Particularly, at a time when Muslim youths are attempting to burn down synagogues, pull a Jewish driver out of his car and assault him, taunt Jews with anti-Semitic remarks and grafiti signs reading "Kill Jews" and "Jews are scumbags." (

Prince Harry should be the least of Muslim's community problem. But it isn't. I suspect that much of the animus against him isn't so much because of these offhand remarks but rather the fact that he served in Afghanistan in the first place. After all, what did the Muslim community in Britain have to say when Harry wore the swastika?

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