Thursday, October 20, 2005

HRH Queen Noor

The wife and I went to see Queen Noor speak Tuesday night at EJ Thomas. She gave a wonderful, rousing speech primarly focused on peace in the world notwithstanding the challenges of the Palestine/Isreal conflict and terrorism among Muslim fanatics. She said nothing I hadn't heard before, but she said it exceptionally well and, well, she's a Queen for heaven's sake.

I was planning on linking to the Beacon Journal story and Queen Noor's website and leaving it at that. But the BJ reporter utterly muffed the story, so please indulge while I fill in some blanks. Here is how the BJ sums up the substance of the speech:

Noor, 54, delivered the 10th Annual Dorothy Garrett Martin Lectureship on Values and Ethics at E.J. Thomas Hall Tuesday.

And ultimately, she preached the Golden Rule.

"It is that simple, in my view," she said. "It should not take a natural disaster for people to reach out to one another. We must take that leap of faith."

I was impressed by the overall lack of pomp and pretention throughout the event. Still and all, when reporting the words of a queen, one should strive not to make her sound vapid.

Her Majesty's message went far beyond simply reinterating the Golden Rule. She in fact framed the speech with three lessons she learned in her youth by following the preaching of Dr. Martin Luther King:
-Injustice for one person threatens justice for all
-Our commonalities are more important than our differences
-Everyone can and should work to make things better

The "Golden Rule" reference was part of the second lesson in which she demonstrated that the aformentioned Rule is embedded in the teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. She also cited Qu'ranic scripture to show that intolerance, oppression and terrorism are anathema to Islam. This was really the core of her message and it merits not a mention in the BJ.

Finally I have to mention a not-at-all subtle blast aimed at our President. She talked about becoming friends with Madeline Albright and discovering that Sec. Albright, Hillary Clinton and some other high-ranking women in the White House had formed an informal gathering called the "Frank Group" -- because they could be frank with each other. "And I know that is incredibly important -- to check your ideas with people who will tell you if they think you are wrong."

Memo to W: A Queen is telling you to check yourself.