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HRH is awarded the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah International Prize

24th June 2004

The Prince of Wales was honoured with an award for his work to promote greater understanding between the Islamic and Western world.

Receiving The Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah International Prize, The Prince said education, understanding and positive thinking were needed for effective dialogue between the two communities.

His Royal Highness was presented with the award by The Sultan of Brunei.

Receiving the award at London's Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, The Prince said: “It is easy to dwell on the last decade as one of increased confrontation, intolerance and polarisation.

“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.”

The Prince called for celebration of the common traditions and diversity of the two civilisations.

An international jury selected The Prince and took into account public statements such as a speech on Islam and the West which he gave in 1993 on becoming Patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

The Prince donated the prize of £42,000 to his School of Traditional Arts, based in London's Shoreditch, which encourages and promotes traditional arts and crafts of different faiths.

Presenting the award, The Sultan of Brunei said of The Prince: “He has been tireless in urging people of influence in the world to sustain and broaden the dialogue between Muslims and the West.

“Your efforts have made many, despite current circumstances, maintain commitment to the cause of peace.”