the Middle East, in Europe, and here in the United States,
senior Muslim clerics have spoken out, authoritatively, against
terror,” the King said.
However, he added that “there
are those who think otherwise — who believe that there
is, or will be, a `clash of civilisations'.”
To help end the extremists'
abuse of Islam, the King told his audience, Jordan hosted
in July a major international conference that brought together
scholars representing all eight traditional schools of Islamic
He noted that the scholars
affirmed Islam's core values, expressed in the Amman Message,
which “carefully articulates Islam's essential social
Compassion, respect for
others, tolerance and acceptance, and freedom of religion.
And it rejects Muslim isolation from the global movement of
“The Amman Message
is an all-Islamic initiative. It currently involves opinion
makers from across the Islamic world.
God willing, it will expand
to engage the popular preachers and grassroots activists —
what is called the `Muslim street',” the Monarch said.
“We intend to revisit
education and media roles as well.
The ultimate goal is to
take back our religion from the vocal, violent and ignorant
extremists who have tried to hijack Islam over the last hundred
King Abdullah said those
who believe in the future of the Middle East are strongly
committed to dialogue and peace, which, he said, have deep
roots in Arab-Islamic civilisation.
moderate, orthodox Muslims are reclaiming our Islam —
Islam, as it has been taught and practised for over a thousand
years: A religion of tolerance, wisdom and charity,”
These people are “driving
a regional renaissance, that can give the Middle East the
hope it needs.”
“I am proud that Jordan
has taken the lead in that effort, as well as engaging in
our own serious process of reform and development.”
The King, meanwhile, spoke
about his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Monday.
“He [the Pope] spoke
of his respect for the Muslim people, and he reaffirmed the
church's commitment to dialogue and peace,” the King
said, adding that the current world developments are critical
moments in the human history.
“Fifteen years ago,
when the cold war ended, some people said that history had
ended; that all the important issues had been resolved. Today,
we know better. And we stand at a new turning point,”
“In one direction,
is an open world, one that can deliver a better life and freedom
to billions of people. Against this vision is global division
— a world of barriers and stagnation — especially,
a world of religious tension and hostility.”
“Four years ago this
month, 9/11. This past July, the attacks in London and in
Egypt. Last month in Jordan.
Continuing conflict in Afghanistan
and Iraq. And during all this time, simmering conflict in
The King also spoke about
Muslim-Christian coexistence in Jordan, saying that the Kingdom
is an Islamic country and home to a historic Christian community.
“All Jordanians participate
in creating our nation and our future. I believe that we have
found, by the grace of God, a larger community of shared respect.
It is based on the deepest
teachings of our religions, teachings found in the scriptures
of Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike: Belief in and devotion
to the one God... and love for our fellow human beings,”
the King told the gathering.
King Abdullah reminded his
audience of the fact that the late Pope John Paul II began
his Jubilee Pilgrimage in Amman.
“He spoke to
me and millions of listening Arabs, about his great esteem
for the Muslim people, as believers in the one God.
One year later, he became
the first Pope to enter a mosque. He helped lead a historic
Muslim-Christian prayer gathering — and urged a continuing
`partnership for the good of the human family'.”