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Moses is no More

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

… but did he really die or was simply spirited away to “Paradise” by Ishkur-Adad?

Even as the Nation of Israeli braced to militarily take possession of the Promised Land, its top three senior citizens, namely Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, were not destined to share in this god-conferred bequest.  All three died (or in the highly probable case of Moses simply disappeared from the scene) before the lottery was won.

The first to pass on was Miriam, whilst the Israelites were camped at Kadesh Barnea. In the Bible, Miriam’s death is spoken of as if in passing. “Miriam died and was buried,” that’s all the Pentateuch says about her death in NUMBERS 20:1. This disparaging treatment is in keeping with the Jewish male chauvinism of the day, whereby women were not to be accorded the merest preeminence.  It also speaks volumes on the antipathy that existed between Moses and Miriam, who once were husband and wife, beside being half-siblings, and who divorced right in the wilderness when Moses felt Miriam’s popularity was gnawing away at his own – all facts of which the Pentateuch deliberately obscures as that was not meant for the ears of its intended readership.

On the other hand, the more objective BOOK OF JASHER, which was spitefully left out of the Old Testament canon, accords Miriam’s death the prominence it merits. It says (the statement in parenthesis is ours), “The children of Israel mourned for Miriam for 40 days (10 days longer than they did Moses and Aaron) and neither did any man go forth of his dwelling. And the lamentation was great, for after Miriam arose,  there was no other ever like her … The flame thereof went out into all the lands; yeah, throughout all Canaan and the nations feared greatly.” Miriam’s death sent reverberations throughout the biblical lands, ample enough evidence that she was a colossus as opposed to the also-ran she’s portrayed as in the shamelessly partial Torah.

Miriam and Moses shared the same father, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, but had different mothers. Whereas Moses’ mother was Tiye, the great patriarch Joseph’s daughter and who was Amenhotep III’s second but most influential wife, Miriam’s mother was Gilukhipa, Amenhotep III’s third wife.  In Egypt, Miriam was known as Meryamon, meaning “Beloved of Amon” (Marduk, Egypt’s national god, who was also known as Amon-Ra). It is Meryamon that is corrupted to Miriam in the Bible. 

In Egypt, Miriam was particularly prominent because she produced a heir for Moses, who was to become Pharaoh Tutankhamen. It was also through Kiya-Tasherit, Miriam’s daughter with Moses, that the royal line of Judah emerged, again a fact the Pentateuch writers cleverly swept under the rug just so that Miriam was not put on a pedestal.

The Bible provides two versions of the scenes of Aaron’s death at age 123. The BOOK OF NUMBERS says he died at Mount Hor, whereas DEUTERONOMY says he died at Mount Moseroth, a place miles removed from Mount Hor.  It is clear the Pentateuch writers were not sure of their facts here.

THE BOOK OF NUMBERS says Aaron was mourned for at least 30 days.  He was succeeded as national priest by his son Eleazer. Aaron had four sons, namely Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar in that order, but  Nadab and Abihu were killed by Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the exodus,  in Aaron’s tactical sacrifice  of his foremost children. That’s how Eleazer came to succeed Aaron. Both  Aaron and Moses were former Egyptian pharaohs, with Moses having ruled as Pharaoh Akhenaten and Aaron as Pharaoh Smenkhkare. 

MOSES’ UNCERTAIN FATE

According to the Bible, Moses died on Mount Nebo in Moabite country, aged 120 years. Even at this advanced age, he was  of robust health and his sight was as potent as ever  according to DEUTERONOMY. If Moses so bristled with health still, why did he die? ONE CANNOT RULE OUT FOUL PLAY BY ADAD HIMSELF, WHO WAS DETERMINED THAT MOSES NEVER SET FOOT IN CANAAN. Indeed, his burial place was never to be known though the Bible says he was buried (alive?) at Beth-Peor in Moab.

The legendary historian Flavius Josephus says, “a cloud stood over him all of a sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley”. The  cloud, as we now know, was the alter ego of  Adad, a fellow Alien he  co-worked with during the Israelites wilderness wonderings, which may suggest that  Adad had a change of heart: instead of eliminating Moses, he simply retired him and took him to a privilleged place where he continued to live happily ever after, most likely in South America, where the Enlilites now were headquartered and operated a new spaceport following the nuking of the one in the Sinai Peninsula in 2024 BC. This may explain why Moses and Elijah featured in the transfiguration of Jesus   (MATT 17:1-9; MARK 9:2-10; LUKE 9:28-36) in that  neither of the two prophets tasted death. 

THE BOOK OF JUDE, which buys into the narrative that Moses did die, says the “Devil” and the archangel Michael contended for his body. We know now that the “Devil” was the Enlilites’ nickname for Marduk in the astrological Age of Aries and the archangel Michael was Ninurta, the firstborn son of Jehovah-Enlil. So what Jude is suggesting is that the Enkites wanted Moses to be buried in Egypt, where he was brought up and was even Pharaoh at some stage, whereas the Enlilites wanted him to be buried just within shouting distance of the Promised Land, their future geopolitical capital.  

As was the case with Aaron,  Israelites mourned Moses for 30 days. It is likely though that at some stage, Moses’ remains, if he indeed did die,  were  exhumed and taken back to Egypt for a  dignified reburial as ex-pharaoh Akhenaten. The identity of Akhenaten’s remains, however, remain inconclusive to date although all sorts of theories have been bandied about. 

Josephus lauds Moses thus: “He was one that exceeded all men that ever were in understanding, and made the best use of what that understanding suggested to him. He had a very graceful way of speaking and addressing himself to the multitude; and as to his other qualifications, he had such a full command of his passions, as if he hardly had any such in his soul, and only knew them by their names, as rather perceiving them in other men than in himself. He was also such a general of an army as is seldom seen, as well as such a prophet as was never known, and this to such a degree, that whatsoever he pronounced, you would think you heard the voice of God himself.”

JOSHUA TAKES CHARGE

Although Moses had children, Gershom and Eliezer (not to be mistaken with Aaron’s heir whose name is spelt slightly differently)   being the most prominent at this stage, he was not succeeded by any one of them  as leader of the  Nation of Israel. If Aaron was succeeded by his son, why wasn’t Moses? After all, wasn’t Moses for all practical purposes the King of the Nation of Israel although he was not referred to as such?

According to the Enlilite timetable, time was not yet ripe to install a dynastic King of Israel. The Israelites presently had no country of their own and to be King one had to have a substantive domain, a territory. What was crucial at this juncture, when the Israelites were still prosecuting wars of conquest, was a military leader, a general. It was only after  victory was won and the Israelites were firm in the saddle in Canaan that a king would be installed.

To his credit, Moses had over the past 40 years or so been grooming his successor as Israel’s Commander-in-Chief. This was Joshua, an illustrious and veteran dog of war now 80 years old. Although his born name was actually Hoshea, Moses dubbed him Joshua (or Jesus in Greek), meaning “Yahweh’s Liberator”, and the moniker stuck.  He was from the tribe of Ephraim and was one of the 12 scouts Moses had sent to spy out the land of Canaan during the Kadesh Barnea encampment. Of the 12, only he and Caleb gave a positive report, as a result of which Adad told them they would be the only ones to enter the Promised Land. The other ten spies perished in a plague engineered by Adad for their alarmist report.

Immediately after the period of Moses’ mourning was over, Joshua announced it was time for the Israelites to commence their march on Canaan, the land west of the Jordan Valley.  There simply was no time to waste. Joshua pronounced that the march on Canaan was to be spearheaded by three tribes, namely that of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, all three of which  constituted 40,000 in all.

If you recall, Moses had acceded to these tribes’ request that they settle in the conquered lands of Bashan and Heshbon (now collectively known as Gilead) as they offered good pastures for livestock on condition that they promise to help the other Israelites when the time came to enter the Promised Land. Accordingly, Joshua issued this clarion call to them: “Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them” NUMBERS 1:14.

JOSHUA’S SPIES SAFEGURADED BY RAHAB THE HARLOT

But like every seasoned general, Joshua first decided to spy out the first Canaanite city that was within his crosshairs. The Israelites were presently camped at a place in Moabite land known as Shittim, which meant “Acacia Trees”. Shittim overlooked the city of Jericho, which was only 8 km across the Jordan River. Jericho was therefore the most logical city to attack first. 

Unlike Moses, who sent 12 spies at the time of the Kadesh Barnea camping, Joshua settled for only two, that experience having taught him that too many people spoiled the broth in terms of the news they reported. “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho,” he said to the two unnamed spies.

Although the spies successfully stole into Jericho, they were sniffed out the very first day.  Relates  Josephus: “Before they were at all discovered, they took a full view of the city of Jericho without disturbance, and saw which parts of the walls were strong, and which parts were otherwise, and indeed insecure, and which of the gates were so weak as might afford an entrance to their army. Now those that met them took no notice of them when they saw them, and supposed they were only strangers, who  used to be very curious in observing everything in the city, and did not take them for enemies; but at dusk  they retired to a certain inn that was near to the wall, whither they went to eat their supper.

After having supper they  considered how to get away. Meanwhile, information was given to the king as he was at supper, that there were some persons come from the Hebrews' camp to view the city as spies, and that they were in the inn kept by Rahab, and were very solicitous that they might not be discovered. So he sent immediately some to them, and commanded to catch them, and bring them to him, that he might examine them by torture, and learn what their business was there.”

The city of Jericho was fortified with a casemate wall several inches thick and several feet high. In a corner of the wall was a dwelling owned by a woman known as Rahab. In Joshua’s day, it was common to build houses on city walls. Houses were built on wooden logs laid across the tops of the two walls. Rahab’s house was one such, with a window that looked out over the outside wall.

Rahab’s home doubled as an inn and a brothel, with she herself lodging in the upper storey. Although she’s famed as a prostitute, she also ran a side  linen business as suggested by the flax stalks found on her roof. She was a woman who was ready to make money any way she knew how.Its recreational offerings aside, Rahab’s place was ideal for espionage purposes. First, it was on the very edge of the city, which made it easier for the spies to escape in case they aroused suspicion. Second, all manner of visitors could come and go there without raising eyebrows. Third, it was a good place to pick up the latest gossip in a city or country. Fourth, an inn was also a place where government  informants could be strategically placed to pick up any information touching on state security.

RAHAB EARNS HERSELF INDEMNITY FROM DESTRUCTION

The moment the spies introduced themselves to Rahab, she enthusedly warmed up to them.  News of the might of the Israelites and their wonder-working god now pervaded the whole country, Rahab said, and everybody lived in fear as “we know the Lord has given you this land”.

Aware that Jericho’s army did not have a prayer against the invincible Israelites, Rahab wanted to be on the side of potential winners and so took the risk of offering them citadel for as long they promised her that when they took the city-state, they would spare her and her entire family. Rahab had heard how the Israelites made a clean-sweep slaughter of every inhabitant of  the land they conquered, including women and children.  The spies undertook to honour her plea and advised that she hand a scarlet thread out of the window as a signal to the Israelite army  when it  approached.

When the King’s intelligence spooks stormed into Rahab’s home, she had already taken the precaution of hiding the two spies beneath the bundles of flax. She told the spooks that the Israelites had already left and pointed them in a dud direction she said they had taken.  “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from,” Rahab said to the King’s men. “ At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.”

Once the King’s men had departed and the city gate had closed for the night, Rahab quickly let the spies down by the scarlet rope through a window. “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you,” she said to them. “ Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.” The spies did likewise as related in JOSHUA  2:22. “When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them.”

The spies had been on Jericho land for no more than a full day but the intelligence they gathered was sufficient enough for the purpose. “The Lord has given us the whole land,” they gushingly reported to General Joshua, “for all the people are terrified of us.” It was probably an exaggeration but it did contain a kernel of truth.

ADAD DESIGNATES JERICHO AS A SACRIFICE TO HIS HONOUR

Ancient Jericho is a mile down the road from modern Jericho. Its ruins today, a round tower with a spiral staircase inside, are at Tel Es Sultan and reveal that Jericho is the oldest city in the world. Archeology reckons that Jericho’s walls were 30 feet high, with a 6-foot thick outer wall and a 12-15 foot gap between that and a 12-foot thick inner wall. The walls became a barrier as the city grew, so houses were perched on top of the walls in close proximity to one another.

Jericho was the strongest and most heavily fortified city in Canaan. It was also the richest, being endowed with gold, silver, and iron.  As such, Adad regarded Jericho as his personal prize. Since it was to the first Canaanite city Israelites would conquer, Adad claimed it as his firstfruit of the military and territorial harvest. Just like all firstborn Israelite children were to be sacrificed to him, all of Jericho was to be both literally and symbolically sacrificed to him. The bloodshed that would result from the massacre of the Jericho populace would be an “aromatic odour” to him”, and the wealth that would be plundered would all vest in him.

Every time the Israelites were to present a sacrifice to Adad, they first had to purify themselves. By the same token in the present scenario, Adad ordered Joshua to have the Israelites purify themselves before they handled the sacrifice that was  Jericho’s people and its riches and treasures.


This time around, the Israelites were not going to storm Jericho the way they did  the cities they had previously conquered. Adad had come up with his own battering-ram device. He wanted to make a resounding statement to the Canaanites that he was not a nominal god but a true, miracle-working god, that he was way mightier than the Canaanite gods. Two such “miracles” were in fact in the offing. The first was the crossing of the river Jordan. The second was the demolition of the walls of Jericho.     

NEXT WEEK:   JOSHUA REGISTERS HIS FIRST VICTORY

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STRESS TEST

14th December 2022

We have come a long way from the 19th century, when mental un-healthiness was not recognised as treatable. In those days mental health problems were viewed as a sign of madness, warranting imprisonment in often merciless and unhygienic conditions; and with that backdrop you would think twice before calling in sick because of stress or admit feelings of hopelessness or depression but that’s changing. That may sound like good news but it’s not.

Reasons why employees don’t show up for work can vary, but one thing is for certain; an organisation relies on its staff to get things done and when employees don’t show up for work it disrupts organisational plans, takes up the valuable time from management and lowers the company’s productivity. It’s always been that people miss work for several reasons, some understandable and legitimate and others less so but it’s important that we know the reasons so that such situations can be better managed.

Today stress is one of the most common causes of long-term absence and is especially prevalent amongst office-based staff. This is also related to absence due to depression or anxiety. Is this indicative of where we are as a society, a sign of the times which is that people are constantly pressurised and have less work-life balance?

The British Museum houses a tablet which provides a peek into work-life balance in ancient Egypt. It documents how many sick days and why 40 workers took time off from their workplace in 1250 BC. All sorts of fascinating reasons have been given for why people were away from their work, including a note about someone named Buqentuf, who needed time off for embalming and wrapping the corpse of his dead mother.

There were other reasons like some workers, such as a man named Pennub, missed work because their mothers were ill.  Others had causes that we wouldn’t expect to hear as often today, such as men who stayed home to help around the house due to a “wife or daughter bleeding” – a reference to menstruation. But no mention of mental health, not because it didn’t exist, but it wasn’t labelled thus not reported.

What was reported was a person such as Aapehti who was said to have been ill on a regular basis and also took time off when he was “making offerings to god”.  Workers also took days off when they had to perform tasks for their superiors – which was apparently permitted in moderate amounts. For example, Amenmose was allowed time away from work when he was “fetching stones for the scribe:  And what about other employees who had to excuse themselves from work to brew beer, an activity which was associated with some of their gods and rituals.

All fascinating stuff which provides insight into life at that time. But what insights can we gather from today’s sick leave records? One study recently undertaken gives us insight into the UK police force’s absenteeism. Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from police forces in the UK showed that the number of days absent due to mental health problems increased by 9% in one year, from 457,154 in 2020 to 497,154 in 2021.

And here is the shocker. Police have taken a record 500,000 days off due to mental health issues. Zoe Billingham, a former police inspector, suggested there was a greater prevalence of mental health issues among emergency services, due to what they faced during the pandemic of coronavirus. “Police and other frontline services have protected us during the pandemic,” she said. “The pandemic was a great unknown. People were really scared of dying and coming into contact with the virus, and a lot of people did.”

It is a ‘mental health epidemic’ among police. Alistair Carmichael, Home Affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Frontline police officers do an incredible job serving their communities. But we know that the stress of policing can take a heavy toll on the mental health of officers, in some cases leading to burnout.

Let’s look at another group. A poll by Gallup reported that in the last three years, 75% of young adults aged 18–22 have left their jobs because of stated mental health reasons. This study showed that employees (millennials and Gen Z) want employers who care about their wellbeing. Contributing factors to mental health stress centre around increases in uncertainty and include: Hybrid work environments and the side-effects: no socialization, no end time, no feedback, caring for others; changing rules around work often with poor communications & clarity;  inconsistency & incompleteness of rule implementation:  Uncertainty from these and other factors leads to anxiety and depression.

 

The real story here is not that burnout, stress, depression and anxiety are becoming the number one reasons for absenteeism but that for a large part they are preventable. We have the data telling us it’s the problem but still organisations are doing very little to proactively manage it. Sure, we have counselling services for staff who are struggling and wellness days to reinforce feelings of wellbeing, but this is not enough.

If we start caring and developing work cultures that do not create unintentional stress through how work gets done, that will go a long way to change the status quo. Simple things like ensuring your culture doesn’t thrive on fire drills and heroics to get things done and that emails do not come with expected responses after hours or over the weekend. If we can stop managers bullying, yelling or losing their cool when there is a performance or customer issue and begin giving people more control over their work – all of these are the kinds of stuff that contribute to weakened mental health and absenteeism.

To sum up, your staff’s stress levels are directly proportional to your business’s absentee levels.  Ergo, lowering the former, will also reduce the latter.  Stress down, productivity up and everybody wins out.

QUOTE

Contributing factors to mental health stress centre around increases in uncertainty and include: Hybrid work environments and the side-effects: no socialization, no end time, no feedback, caring for others; changing rules around work often with poor communications & clarity;  inconsistency & incompleteness of rule implementation:  Uncertainty from these and other factors leads to anxiety and depression.

 

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Diana Irks Queen

14th December 2022
I

In September 1978, General Atiku, Princess Diana had enrolled for a cookery course. That same month whilst she was staying at her parents’ home in Norfolk, her friends innocently asked about the health of her father  John Spencer, the 8th Earl. Hitherto, the Earl’s health had never been a matter of concern but Diana somewhat inscrutably voiced a somewhat portendous outlook. “He’s going to drop down in some way,” she said.  “If he dies, he will die immediately;  otherwise he’ll survive.”  

It came to pass,  General. The following day, the telephone bell rang to the news that her father had collapsed in the courtyard of his Althorp Estate residence and that he had been rushed to a nearby hospital after suffering a massive cerebral haemorrhage. The medical prognosis was bleak:  Earl Spencer was not expected to survive the night. Writes Andrew Morton in Diana Her True Story: “For two days the children camped out in the hospital waiting-room as their father clung on to life. When doctors announced that there was a glimmer of hope, Raine [second wife] organised a private ambulance to take him to the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Queen Square, Central London, where for several months he lay in a coma.”

Raine was so fiercely protective of her beloved husband that she had the nurses see to it that his own children did not come near him in this critical condition in his elitist private room.  ‘I’m a survivor and people forget that at their peril,” she would later tell a journalist. “There’s pure steel up my backbone. Nobody destroys me, and nobody was going to destroy Johnnie so long as I could sit by his bed – some of his family tried to stop me – and will my life force into him.” But if Raine had steel in her, General, so did the implacable Spencer children, more so the eldest of them all.  “During this critical time,” Morton goes on, “the ill feeling between Raine and the children boiled over into a series of vicious exchanges. There was iron too in the Spencer soul and numerous hospital corridors rang to the sound of the redoubtable Countess and the fiery Lady Sarah Spencer [the Earl’s firstborn child] hissing at each other like a pair of angry geese.”

As Diana had correctly predicted, her father was not destined to die at that juncture but healthwise he was never the same henceforth. First, he suffered a relapse in November that same year and was moved to another hospital. Once again, he teetered on the brink. He was drifting in and out of consciousness and as such he was not able to properly process  people who were visiting him, including his own daughters when nurses relented and allowed them in. Even when he was awake a feeding tube in his throat meant that he was unable to speak. Understandably, Diana found it hard to concentrate on the cookery course she had enrolled in a few days before her father suffered his stroke.

But Raine, General,  was determined that her husband survive come rain or shine. Morton: “When his doctors were at their most pessimistic, Raine’s will-power won through. She had heard of a German drug called Aslocillin which she thought could help and so she pulled every string to find a supply. It was unlicensed in Britain but that didn’t stop her. The wonder drug was duly acquired and miraculously did the trick. One afternoon she was maintaining her usual bedside vigil when, with the strains of Madam Butterfly playing in the background, he opened his eyes ‘and was back’. In January 1979, when he was finally released from hospital, he and Raine booked into the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane for an expensive month-long convalescence. Throughout this episode the strain on the family was intense.”

Altogether, Earl Spencer had been in hospital for 8 straight months. The lingering effects of the stroke left him somewhat unsteady on his feet when he escorted his daughter down the aisle at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981 for her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

 

R.I.P. EARL SPENCER

 

It was not until March 29, 1992, General, that Earl Spencer finally gave up the ghost. He was admitted in hospital for pneumonia but what killed him days later was a heart attack. Rumours of his death actually began to make the rounds the day before he passed on. At the time, Diana was on a skiing holiday in the  Austrian Alps along with  her estranged hubby Prince Charles and their two kids William and Harry.

When Diana was told of her dad’s death, she insisted that under no circumstances would she return to England on the same flight as Charles, with whom she was barely on talking terms. “I mean it, Ken,” she told her body minder Ken Wharfe. “I don’t want him with me. He doesn’t love me – he loves that woman [Camilla]. Why should I help save his face? Why the bloody hell should I? It’s my father who has gone. It’s a bit bloody late for Charles to start playing the caring husband, don’t you think so?”

Naturally, General, Charles was alarmed, particularly that his efforts to use one of his right-hand-men to reason with the Princess had been rebuffed. He therefore  prevailed over Wharfe to try and ram sense into his wife. “Lord Spencer’s death was a major news story,” writes Ken Wharfe,  “and if the Prince and Princess did not return to Britain together then nothing, not even compassion for the grief-stricken Diana, would stop the journalists from going for the jugular. The truth about the Waleses would be immediately and blindingly obvious to the most naive journalist … Returning to the Princess’s room, I told her bluntly that this was not a matter for debate. ‘Ma’am, you have to go back with the Prince. This one is not open for discussion. You just have to go with it’.’’

At long last persuaded, General, Diana said, “Okay Ken, I’ll do it. Tell him I’ll do it, but it is for my father, not for him – it is out of loyalty to my father.” But what in truth got Diana to change tack was the intervention of the Queen, who personally called her at Charles’ own request. That, however, General, was only as far as Diana was prepared to play ball: as far as engaging with Charles in conversation was concerned, that was simply inconceivable. “There was an icy silence for the rest of the two-hour journey,” writes Wharfe. “Nothing was said during the entire flight. The Princess did not want to speak to her husband and he, fearing a furious or even hysterical outburst, did not dare even to try to start a conversation. Whatever the discomforts of the journey, however, it was soon clear that the PR spin had worked. The next day it was reported that Prince Charles was at Diana’s side in her hour of need. Yet as soon as the Prince and Princess arrived at Kensington Palace they went their separate ways – he to Highgrove, and she to pay her last respects to her father.”

Lord Spencer was 68 when he died. He was a remote descendant of King Henry VIII.

 

PRINCE CHARLES FINALLY OWNS UP TO ADULTERY WITH CAMILLA

 

In June 1994, when Diana and Charles had been separated for exactly one-and-half years, Prince Charles was interviewed in a BBC documentary by Jonathan Dimbleby. The interview was billed as intended to mark Charles’ 25 anniversary as Prince of Wales but it was in truth a not-to-cleverly-disguised riposte to Diana Her True Story, the highly controversial 1992 collaboration between Diana and Andrew Morton.

In the interview, which was watched by 13 million people, Charles, General, openly admitted for the first time that he had committed adultery with Camilla Parker-Bowles, who he hailed as, “a great friend of mine who has been a friend for a very long time and will continue to be a friend for a very long time”. Diana had been requested to feature in the interview alongside her husband but she parried the overture on the advice of her aides, which was spot-on as she would have been greatly embarrassed by her hubby’s unsavoury confession in her own face and on national television.

The Prince’s candid confessional was followed weeks later by a book titled The  Prince of Wales: A Biography, which was written by the same Jonathan Dimbleby. The book was even frankier than the interview. In it, Charles put it bluntly that she had never once loved Diana and that he married her only because he was coerced into doing so by his  notoriously overbearing father. Charles also made it known that as a child, he had been bullied by his abusive father, virtually ignored by his mother, and persecuted by a wife he portrayed as both spoiled and mentally unstable.   Both Diana and his parents were revolted by the bare-knuckle  contents of the book though Dana need not have been irked considering that it was she herself who had fired the first salvo in the Morton book.

 

BASHIR INTERVIEW BODES ILL FOR DIANA

 

If Diana’s collaboration with Morton was a miscalculation, General, Prince Charles’ Dimbleby interview was equally so. For in November 1995, the wayward Princess hit back with her own tell-all interview on BBC’s  current affairs programme called Panorama. “She wanted to get even with Prince Charles over his adulterous confession with the Dimbleby documentary,” writes Paul Burrell, her final butler, in A Royal Duty.

The interview was conducted by journalist Martin Bashir who was attached to BBC, and was watched by 23 million people,  conferring it the distinction of having attracted the largest audience for any television documentary in broadcasting history. In the interview, Diana voiced concern about there having been “three of us in this marriage and so it was  a bit crowded”, the intruder obviously being Camilla. Diana also gave Charles a dose of his own medicine by confessing to her own adulterous relationship with James Hewitt, of whom she said, “Yes, I adored him, yes, I was in love with him”. Hewitt had at the time documented his affair with Diana in lurid detail in a best-selling book and Diana thought he had ill-conceivedly stabbed her in the back.

And as if to rub salt into the wound, General, Diana cast serious  doubts on her husband’s fitness to rule as future King and therefore his eventual accession to the British throne.   Unfortunately for her, the interview sealed her fate  in so far as her marriage was concerned. “In her headstrong decision to co-operate with Bashir,” says Burrell, “she had never considered, perhaps naively, the implications that Panorama had for her marriage.” Indeed, just four weeks after the interview, the Queen, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote personally to both the Prince and Princess of Wales requesting that they divorce sooner rather than later.

It was a dream-come-true for at least two parties to the triangle, namely Charles and Camilla. But did it also constitute music to the ears of Princess Diana too, General?

 

Pic Cap

SOWING THE WIND ONLY TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in a BBC documentary which aired on Monday 29 November 1995. The interview incensed the Windsors: the following month, Queen Elizabeth ordered Charles and Diana to sever matrimonial ties. In her vengeful resolve to hit back at her husband following his own interview the previous year, Diana had foolishly sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

NEXT WEEK: DIANA REVERTS TO SINGLENESS

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Rights of an Individual in Islam

14th December 2022

Islam is a way of life completed and perfected by the last and final Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Holy Quran along with the practical teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) forms the basis of Islamic law, social, economic and political systems of Islam – in short the basis of a complete code of conduct for the entire life of a Muslim

Regrettably in this day and age there are certain views in non-Muslims that have a very negative ‘view’ of Islam. The bottom line is that if a Muslim says that two plus two is four, others can ‘argue’ to say three plus one is four, or two times two is four or the square root of 16 is four. The bottom line is no matter what we may think we all are ‘correct’. The fact is that we are all on this earth for a ‘limited’ time. Regardless of beliefs, tribe, race, colour or our social standing in life, we will all die one day or the other and we will “all” be called up thereafter to answer for our behaviour, beliefs, and our life on this earth.

To a Muslim the Holy Quran is the Divine Revelation which is all encompassing and lays down in clear terms, how we should live our daily lives including the need for humans to allow fellow humans certain basic rights at all times. Due to the limited space available I can only reflect on some of the major fundamental rights laid down by Islam:

Right to life

The first and foremost of fundamental basic human-rights is the right to life. “Whosoever kills any human being (without any valid reason) like manslaughter or any disruption and chaos on earth, it is though he had killed all the mankind. And whoever saves a life it is though as he had saved the lives of all mankind” (Quran Ch5: v 32). It further declares: “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law” (Quran Ch6: v 151). Islam further explains that this sacrosanct right to life is not granted only to its adherents (believers), but it has been granted to all human beings without consideration of their religion, race, colour or sex

Right to Equality 

The Holy Quran recognises equality between humans irrespective of any distinction of nationality, race, colour or gender. “O Mankind We have created you from a male and female, and We made you as nations and tribes so that you may be able to recognise each other (not that you may despise each other). Indeed the most honourable among you before God is the most God-conscious”. (Quran Ch49: v 13). The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) further explained this: “No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab…… You are all the children of Adam and Adam was created from soil”. If there is any superiority for a man it is based on his piety, righteousness, sense of responsibility and character. Even such a person with these noble qualities would not have any privileged rights over others.

Right to justice

Allah Almighty has bestowed on all human beings, believer or non-believer, friend or foe the right to justice.  The Holy Quran states: “We sent our messengers with clear teachings and sent down along with them the Book and the Balance so that society may be established on the basis of justice” (Quran Ch 57 : v 25). It further says “O Believers stand for the cause of God and as witness to justice and remember that enmity of some people should not lead you to injustice. Be just as it is nearest to God consciousness” (Quran Ch 5:v  8 ). This makes it obligatory that a believer must uphold justice in all circumstances, including to his enemies.

Right to freedom of conscience and religion

The Holy Quran clearly mentions that there is no compulsion in accepting or rejecting a religion. “There is no compulsion in (submitting to) the religion” (Quran Ch 2 : v 256). Every individual has been granted basic freedom to accept a religion of his or her choice. Therefore no religion should be imposed on a person.

Right to personal freedom

No person can be deprived of his or her personal freedom except in pursuance of justice. Therefore there cannot be any arbitrary or preventive arrest without the permission of duly appointed judge and in the light of a solid proof.

Right to Protection of Honour

Every person has been ensured basic human dignity which should not be violated. If someone falsely attacks the honour of a person the culprit will be punished according to the Islamic Law. The Holy Quran says: “Do not let one group of people make fun of another group”. It further states: “Do not defame one another”, the Quran goes on to say: And do not backbite or speak ill of one another” (Quran Ch 49  : v 11-12).

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