I was surprised that the writers of comments over at Salon.com did not know the below. It is common knowledge to anyone interested in genealogy.
I know that it is hard for people invested in a hard East/ West dichotomy to imagine that the icon of Western civilization, the British royal family, has Arab Muslim antecedents (along with a host of other nationalities of course.) But it does.
The Greater Mediterranean got all mixed up over millennia. Most Sicilians (i.e. most Italian-Americans) also have Arab Muslim ancestors. It works the other way around, too. It is obvious that a lot of Egyptians, Lebanese and Jordanians have descent from the Christian European Crusaders.
This is connected to just pointing out that having ancestors named Hussein is more common among Europeans and Americans than is usually realized. Elizabeth II can’t be descended from the Prophet Muhammad without also being descended from his grandson, the original Husayn / Hussein, since that is the line of descent of the Sayyids.
‘United Press International
October 10, 1986
MOSLEMS IN BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Mixed in with Queen Elizabeth’s blue blood is the blood of the Moslem prophet Mohammed, according to Burke’s Peerage, the geneological guide to royalty. The relation came out when Harold B. Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke’s, wrote Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to ask for better security for the royal family. ”The royal family’s direct descent from the prophet Mohammed cannot be relied upon to protect the royal family forever from Moslem terrorists,” he said. Probably realizing the connection would be a surprise to many, he added, ”It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen. However, all Moslem religious leaders are proud of this fact.”
Brooks-Baker said the British royal family is descended from Mohammed through the Arab kings of Seville, who once ruled Spain. By marriage, their blood passed to the European kings of Portugal and Castille, and through them to England’s 15th century King Edward IV. ‘