What if the Queen was related to Muhammad
Also, Marvel's Israeli superhero
Hello! Sorry this is late! I had many dinners to go to this week! I hope you still see this post even though I’m publishing on a Friday evening.
Your religion roundup:
Russian Orthodox Church avoids expulsion from World Council of Churches. Japanese Government continues to crack down on Unification Church after assassin kills Shinzo Abe for being linked to the Unification Church, which, if I’m not mistaken, is what the assassin wanted? Disgraced former Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz is coming back, baby! Man arrested in Mecca for performing umrah pilgrimage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. The Pope was in Kazakhstan for an interfaith congress. Meanwhile, ‘Media Nuns’ (including my friend Catherine!) leave Chicago.
“I am hearing that on her deathbed Elizabeth II received the light of Islam and unhesitatingly recited the Shahāda”
You might have heard that the Queen of the United Kingdom died last week. She was queen of a lot of other places too! Everyone has a lot of opinions about what that means and how we should feel, but there’s no way I’m getting into all that.
Anyway, it was a huge day for memes, including this copypasta saying the Queen converted to Islam on her deathbed, which is a popular thing to post when someone dies. There’s one for Rush Limbaugh, Shinzo Abe, Mikhail Gorbachev and even Pope Michael. I think the format may have originated with this one about Billy Graham from 2018.
But what if I were to tell you Queen Elizabeth II was a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad? The chart above has been floating around for a few years and was shared widely after Elizabeth II died.
It feels like just another shitpost, but could be true… maybe. In 2013 an RNS article about (then) Prince Charles’ interest in Islam quotes Harold B Brooks-Baker, the publisher of the genealogical guide to British royalty, Burke’s Peerage:
It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen.
But wait! Snopes says the claim doesn’t come from Harold B Brooks-Baker, but still says the chart “doesn’t exactly have the murky origins of an unfounded, sketchy internet rumor. It is certainly plausible.”
In fact, mathematically, going back 1000 years or more in any family tree would result in so many great-great-great (etc) grandparents that if you have European ancestry, you’re related to everyone in Europe at the time who reproduced. So, by that logic, I am also a descendent of the Prophet Muhummad.
Islam occupies a pretty interesting space in the internet’s wider cultural/memetic landscape. Why are posts about the Queen converting to Islam, or a witch fighting Allah and losing, or “We will boil him soon Alhamdulillah” particularly shareable? It feels vaguely orientalist and (given the widespread Islamophobia since 9/11) ‘edgier’ than jokes about Christianity, but in most cases it seems like it’s coming from a good place. If you are a Muslim, I’d be interested in hearing your perspective.
(Also, in case you missed it in the roundup above, a Yemini national has been arrested in Mecca for performing an umrah pilgrimage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.)
Okay but what if the Queen was… Presbyterian?!
Famously, the British monarch is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England — the royal family are Anglicans! It was historically a very big deal!
However, I came across this tweet by Dr Adrian Hilton, and Michael posted something similar in the Discord: Because she was north of the border, the Queen died an ordinary member of the Church of Scotland.
But it’s technically true: When in Scotland, the royal family worship as Presbyterians and are members of that church.
The royal family’s website explains:
The Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian church and recognises only Jesus Christ as 'King and Head of the Church'. The Queen therefore does not hold the title 'Supreme Governor' of the Church of Scotland; when attending Church services in Scotland Her Majesty does so as an ordinary member.
Monarchy is weird.
A good TikTok
What Did You Drag Me Into?
Flamy Grant is an Appalachian drag queen now in San Diego who sometimes works with my fav Semler. Flamy has just released a single from her debut album Bible Belt Baby.
I love the bridge:
I was baptised at the age of twelve
Under the water I came under a spell
I heard the Holy Ghost in the glory, she said
Girl, you’d better go made a hell of a scene
Obviously I’m extremely here for these artists queering contemporary Christian music.
Speaking of which, there’s a Modern Relics Spotify playlist now
I write about music here nearly every week, so I thought, why not have a playlist? I’ve missed a bunch of songs I’ve talked about here or in the Discord over the last year or so, but I’ll go back and add them as I go and try and keep the playlist updated.
So far it’s a pretty eclectic mix of 90s/00s CCM, deconstruction country music, a bit of pop and one song called Alhamdulillah. I haven’t put any of the Catholic lofi stuff in there yet because some of them are real long and disrupt the flow.
Anyway, check it out.
Disney: Israeli superhero to join the MCU
The hero is called Sabra, which is also a modern Hebrew term for any Jew born in Israel. In the comics Sabra is a Mossad agent, so critics on Twitter are also pointing out it is the name of a not-very-authentic commercial hummus and also a massacre of Palestinians in Beierut.
The movie will be called Captain America: New World Order, which is also the name of a wildly anti-semitic conspiracy theory. Many choices have been made!
No way they are going to make this
Sam Freney alerted me to this post on Twitter, which is a cross-post from Reddit. What we’re looking at here is the bread and wine served for communion, except the wine is still grapes and it’s on a toothpick. I assume because it’s safer with COVID still hanging around.
I have, once, been served communion where the wine (or in the case of my denomination, juice) was still grapes, but never on a mini kebab.
Amish Bass System
I love that old mate in the video is called Jacob.
And lastly, the difference between Catholics and Protestants
Posted by Guy Branum, who says, “As we honor Irish twitter's magnificent work over the last day, let us take a moment to remember Derry Girls's chalk board of Catholic and Protestant differences, the greatest piece of comedy writing every produced.”