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Prince Charles on Trump's Refugee Ban: 'Reach Across Boundaries of Faith and Help Wherever Needed'

( [email protected] ) Jan 31, 2017 10:59 AM EST
Prince Charles has weighed in on President Donald Trump's executive order that places a temporary halt on refugees from seven different countries entering the United States and said he believes it is important to help people regardless of their faith wherever possible.
Prince Charles has weighed in on President Donald Trump's executive order that places a temporary halt on refugees from seven different countries entering the United States and said he believes it is important to help people regardless of their faith wherever possible. The Princes of Wales has previously denounced the 'horrendous and heartbreaking' persecution of religious minorities around the world. Photo: CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES

Prince Charles has weighed in on President Donald Trump's executive order that places a temporary halt on refugees from seven different countries entering the United States and said he believes it is important to help people regardless of their faith wherever possible.

Speaking at a fundraiser for World Jewish Relief, a humanitarian agency, the Prince of Wales referenced the "indescribable persecution" endured by Holocaust survivor and former Olympic weightlifting champion Ben Helfgott in suggesting that the "horrific lessons of the last war seem to be in increasing danger of being forgotten".

"To meet Ben, and others who, like him, have endured indescribable persecution, is to be reminded of the danger of forgetting the lessons of the past," he said, according to Business Insider, and praised the agency's work in tackling poverty helps "support people practically, emotionally and spiritually."

"It seems to me that, in reaching beyond your own community, you set an example for us all of true compassion and true friendship," Charles said.

"I have always thought that our own particular Faith is something that empowers and liberates us, not something that constrains us," the Prince continued.

"That is why, in my own life, I have always tried to reach across the boundaries of faith and community; to extend a helping hand wherever one might be needed. This was probably ingrained in me at an early age," he said, explaining his ideas were formed by the "wisdom" and "dignity" of the Jewish refugees who taught him at school.

While Charles did not expressly mention Trump, some have called his speech a "thinly-veiled criticism" of the President, who has come under fire for his immigration ban from a number of world leaders.

Also under Trump's executive order, there is an indefinite ban on the resettlement of Syrian refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries are barred entry for 90 days.

According to The Guardian, the Prince, who has spoken out about religious intolerance in the past, has said he is willing to meet Trump to discuss interfaith relations if the state visit by the President went ahead, saying: "It is not his style to turn his back."

"The prince has gone into the Middle East over recent years at the government's request and has been the honest and neutral broker," a source told the outlet. "He has listened, reported back and convened. If that is required now with President Trump, the only people who can decide is the government.

"For this country, it would be helpful for [Trump] to sit down with the Prince of Wales."

More than 1.6 million people have signed a petition asking the UK to withdraw the US president's invitation to a state visit to Britain: "Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen," reads the petition.

Tags : prince charles, Prince of Wales, Donald Trump, refugee ban, travel ban, Syria, syrian refugees, Persecution