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Queen to make first visit to mosque (and other places of worship)

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    Queen to make first visit to mosque (and other places of worship)

    Queen to make first visit to mosque, Stephen Bates
    24 April 2002, The Guardian

    The Queen will brave the wrath of traditionalist Protestants by visiting non-Christian places of worship for the first time as part of her golden jubilee tour of Britain.

    Buckingham Palace said yesterday that over the summer she will visit a London Hindu temple, the Manchester Jewish museum, an Islamic centre in Scuthorpe and a Sikh temple in Leicester. Other members of the royal family will be attending a Jain temple, a Zoroastrian thanksgiving service and a Buddhist gathering during the course of the year. The visits were condemned by some in the Church of England for undermining its supreme governor's coronation oath to defend and maintain the Protestant religion.

    David Phillips, general secretary of the Church Society, said: "There is a danger that the message given out will be that all faiths are equally valid, which is contrary to what the Queen is sworn to uphold as monarch... she should be careful that she does not compromise her coronation oath."

    A palace official said: "Britain has become a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community over the past 50 years and it is precisely because loonies on the conservative side take that line that we have to demonstrate that the Queen recognises there has been a growth of religious and cultural diversity."

    The visit to the Islamic centre in Scuthorpe on July 31 will be the first time the Queen has been inside a mosque.

    Meanwhile, George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, defended the Church of England's position as the established church in a St George's Day lecture at Lambeth Palace. Dr Carey said: "Establishment helps to underwrite the commitment of a national church to serve the entire community and to give form and substance to some of its deepest collective needs and aspirations".

    [This message has been edited by Nadia_H (edited April 23, 2002).]

    this must be the first time she'll visit a british mosque. Didn't she visit faisal masjid on her visit to pakistan a few years ago?

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