According to the political establishment, Jeremy Corbyn has committed an act of sacrilege and caused offence by not singing the national anthem, writes Jahangir Mohammed of the Centre for Muslim Affairs.
Silence it seems, in this case is evidence of disloyalty and offence. To what though?
Here’s what he was expected to sing (the second verse is no longer in use but was part of the original anthem of 6 verses).
God save our gracious Queen! Long live our noble Queen! God save the Queen!
Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the Queen.
Scatter her enemies, And make them fall: Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks, On Thee our hopes we fix: God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store On her be pleased to pour, Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause, To sing with heart and voice, God save the Queen.
A matter of personal belief and freedom?
But if you don’t believe in God, or the monarchy, why should you be expected to sing “God save the Queen?”
Britain is supposed to be a democracy where the people rule, not a person. All people are supposed to be equal under the law, so why raise the status of one human being above others, and force others to pray for her continued rule over us?
Why can’t we pray for all people in Britain? A Royal Family runs counter to the very essence of a democracy based on equality of all. Being against the principles of democracy and equality we are told by Her Majesty’s Government are now considered evidence of extremism.
Britain is supposed to be a place of diverse histories, traditions, loyalties in which the monarchy and ruling class have and continue to be a point of serious division and conflict.
Nowhere is this expressed more strongly than in the Labour Party’s traditional anthem which Jeremy Corbyn did sing a few days earlier.
Here are the first three verses of the Labour party’s traditional socialist international anthem, which has even been sang in Parliament on a number of occasions:
The People’s Flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its every fold.
So raise the scarlet standard high.
Beneath its folds we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.
Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow’s vaults its hymns were sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.
The anthem symbolises international Marxism and the workers struggle. But if Muslims sang a song with such words as “martyrdom” and “blood” in it, it would be classed a “Jihadi Nasheed” and divisive with a “them and us approach”!
The Muslim anthem
Many black and minority people also have a problem with the anthem.
It asks us to pray for and celebrates an institution that has been responsible for loot, plunder and massacres of our ancestors and their lands.
The Irish Catholic community have also been subject to much oppression at the hands of the monarchy. Many Irish Catholics too have a problem with the anthem and refuse to sing it.
Even the first indigenous Muslim community in Victorian Britain had their own Muslim Anthem. Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam wrote an anthem that summed up some of the core ideals of Muslims.
God bless the Muslim cause:
Bless all who keep Thy laws And do the right.
Uphold the Muslim band, In this and every land;
Give them full strength to stand, Firm in the fight.
Strengthen and help the weak, And teach us all to speak, Thy truth abound.
May love and liberty, Truth and sweet purity, With plenteous charity, In us be found.
Hear Thou the orphan’s cry, Assuage the widow’s sigh, The foolish chide.
Let vice no more abound, But happiness be found, In every home and round, The world so wide.
(21st April, 1901)
National Anthem or warrior song?
According to a number of surveys most Britons don’t know much more than the first line of their National Anthem. Yet it is steeped in the language of war, conquest and conflict with“enemies” at that time.
As such it was a warrior song for loyalist supporters of the English monarch. The far right today often add “no surrender” before “send her victorious”.
At a time when the Government wants to define those Muslims who talk about violence and war as extremists, why should anyone sing what has effectively been a war chant. The words of the anthem are both outdated, irrelevant, exclusive, divisive and meaningless.
And, what does it actually mean to be noble in democratic Britain? Nor does she need to be bestowed with more gifts. She and her offspring have plenty, historically taken from all parts of the world by her ancestors like the Koh-i-Noor diamond from India.
When HM and her family go to the Gulf States and other areas of the world, they are given many more gifts. Nor do the Royals need our prayers for safety, they are shielded and protected at great expense even when their children go on military service overseas.
The Establishment in this country are on a mission to enforce their values and beliefs on the rest of society. They are using the Muslims to further that agenda.
The rest of society can be sure this agenda will not end with us. They want to close down social and political diversity and many of the freedoms people in Britain have fought for over centuries.
The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn to force him to comply are an example of that, with more to come. As for me, I prefer Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam’s anthem.
At least there are some human values to strive for in it.