Some readers might perhaps not be aware that Princess Badiya hails from the Jordanian Royal Hashemite Family and that she supports practical work to promote inter-faith and cross-cultural understanding. Moreover, her father – HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan – is one of the towering figures in interreligious dialogue and perhaps also one of the foremost thinkers across the world.
The talk was both encouraging and vivifying. Speaking ”˜simply’ as a Muslim woman, and bringing into it her own vignettes and stories as well as her sense of discernment, humour and infectious laughter, Princess Badiya’s paper was – perhaps not unexpectedly – strongly supportive of Christian-Muslim dialogue as she enumerated a host of reasons why the followers of those two great monotheistic traditions should talk to each other rather than at each other. But she was also disarmingly candid about the negative stereotypes of Islam in the West: some of them fomented by the rapacious attitudes of extremist Muslims whose deeds or words colour negatively a global religion that is neither monolithic nor homogeneous.