The Queen (with a capital ‘Q’) is dead. Long live the king!
She died on Thursday September 8 but her funeral will not take place until September 19.
While Britain is in official mourning, after all she was the monarch, why is the rest of the world told to join in?
Does Britain’s grief take precedence over the suffering of millions of people elsewhere, almost all of them the direct result of British empire’s colonial legacy?
In Britain, a stifling uniformity has been imposed, dutifully complied by the media, to not raise troubling questions about the monarchy during the period of mourning.
Only praise for the deceased monarch is permitted, duly reinforced by huge billboards on every conceivable space—on tubes, buses and any other space available with a beaming queen benevolently looking down upon her subjects.
Her crown bedecked in diamonds and jewels stolen from Africa and India, is also standard fare.
Anti-monarchist protesters have been arrested and academics told to stay away from the social media, or at least not raise awkward questions about the monarchy.
She was a “mother” and a “grandmother”. Th empire in her capable hands provided “stability” and “continuity”.
For whom, one wonders?
In the twenty-first century, the very idea of the monarchy is anachronistic.
Some apologists argue that Queen Elizabeth was not involved in the loot of empire.
They insist she presided over the dismantling of empire granting freedom to many colonized people.
This is air-brushing of history.
She was on a safari in Kenya when told that she had become the queen. This was in 1952.
While young Elizabeth was enjoying the safari, dutifully served by the natives, Britain had commenced a brutal counterinsurgency in Kenya.
Crushing of the Mau Mau “rebellion” led to the imprisonment, torture and execution of tens of thousands of people between 1952 to 1960.
Five years before she inherited the throne, Elizabeth was in Cape Town, South Africa (1947).
This was the beginning of apartheid in South Africa.
The Brits perpetrated other horrors in places like Cyprus and Malaya.
In more recent times, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen must be added to this sordid history of empire.
Not to forget Britain’s role, together with the US in the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Muhammad Mussadegh’s government in Iran that reimposed the brutal Shah on the throne.
Lest some people say that the queen was not directly responsible for empire’s horrors, they should remember what she said about her commitment to “our great imperial family”.
This imperial family presided over the systematic theft of $45 trillion (yes, that is trillion with a ‘T’) from India between 1765 and 1938.
India’s GDP at the time accounted for 28 percent of global GDP.
When the British were forced to leave in 1947, India’s GDP was reduced to 3% of the world’s GDP.
And they left behind such disastrous legacies as Kashmir and Palestine.
The people of these lands continue to suffer the consequences of British intrigue.
There is another aspect that needs our attention.
On social media, some Muslims have mused about the queen’s descent from the Prophet’s family and that prince (now king) Charles is a closet Muslim.
Before Muslims rant about the queen being from the Ahl al-Bayt, they should remember that Abu Lahab was the Prophet’s uncle.
Besides, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that she was even remotely connected to the Prophet (pbuh).
Muslims should refrain from such speculation.
It is an insult to the honour of the noble Messenger of Allah.
The queen bestowed knighthood on the blasphemer Salman Rushdie, author of the scandalous book, The Satanic Verses.
And it was Britain that created and imposed such puppets on Muslims as the Bani Saud in the Arabian Peninsula and the Hussain family in Jordan.
Brits can indulge in as much grief, contrived as it is, as they want, there is no need for Muslims to join such observances.
Muslims and non-Muslims—all people of colour—can rightly say, “good riddance”.