The British Royals. Probably the most conservative, the traditional, elitist, pompous, judgerag group of people on the face of this earth.
But not anymore.
Times are a-changing. And it’s all thanks to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
Last year’s royal wedding was like nothing the House of Windsor had ever seen.
In the Royals’ first mixed-race wedding, African-American Reverend Michael Curry delivered a woelige sermon, and a black gospel choir brought the Westminster Abbey’s roof, down.
Everyone (except the most racist puritans) loved it!
It was a fabulous public relations exercise for the stuffy royals, who have won praise for being a global, 21st-century family.
And now for the first coloured royal baby!
Meanwhile here in Cape Town, there were no such cheers after the wedding of Ebrahim Rasool’s daughter Tahrir to Sanjay Naran.
The groom had converted from Hinduism to Islam before their marriage, and the wedding had incorporated Vedic customs to honour his family’s traditions.
This included dancing and the Hindu “Seven Steps” ritual or Saptha Padhi, in which the couple walked around a fire seven times, to honour the fire god Agni.
Naturally, all hell broke loose on social media.
Fellow Muslims called the wedding, which was attended by the Muslim Judicial Council, “un-Islamic”.
And the former premier was accused of “shirk” (idolatry or polytheism).
The criticism got so ugly, that Rasool was forced to issue a public statement to address the “fietna” (gossip) and hysteria.
He explained that besides the Islamic ceremony, guests also witnessed the incorporation of urf (customs) of Western culture, like the exchange of rings, and Malay, like the singing of Rosa, and Vedic rituals.
“More importantly, they would have known that the groom embraced the shahada (belief in one god), an act that does not demand to denounce or rejecting his family, community or other essentials of his being and identity,” he said.
And that was the point.
When you welcome an outsider into your fold, you cannot strip them entirely of their culture, history and identity.
Who would want to convert to Islam if this was the case?
Can you imagine Meghan being forced to give up her US passport, African-Americanness, faith, family traditions and gospel music to become a white, royal, British, Anglican?
It’s unreasonable, unfair, unconstitutional (and un-Islamic).
The Royals realised this and embraced and celebrated Meghan’s differences.
But not ons mense and their famous koeksister mentality.