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Charles honoured by Sultan of Brunei

June 24, 2004
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The Prince of Wales has received a top honour from the Sultan of Brunei in recognition of his efforts to promote dialogue between Western and Islamic cultures.

Prince Charles accepted the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah International Prize – named after the current Bruneian leader – at a London ceremony, where the Brunei royal praised his "tireless" work "in urging people of influence… to sustain and broaden the dialogue between Muslims and the West."

Accepting the prize, the Prince said: "The images of September 11, of Afghanistan and Iraq, of the continuing horrors in the Holy Land, and the recent murders in Saudi Arabia – these are pervasive and not easily balanced with more positive pictures of reconciliation and understanding.

"Many appear to argue that we are past the point of understanding. To them, dialogue is dead and we need to circle the wagons of our own culture to the exclusion of others. I could not disagree with them more profoundly."

Charles, who is the first Westerner to receive the honour since it was first awarded in 1992, will donate the £42,000 prize to his School of Traditional Art in Shoreditch.

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Photo: ©
The Bruneian leader presents the Prince of Wales with the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah International Prize in recognition of Charles' work to promote understanding between Islamic cultures and the WestPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
Prince Charles chats with Oxford student Havva Guney, a Turkish scholar currently studying Islamic and European lawPhoto: © PA

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