Abdullah II of JordanKing of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Address to the European Parliament (2015) People thrive where there is mutual respect. Civilisation is built on it. Futures are better for it. But co-existence must be made, and made again, in every generation.
The common good is defended only by vigilance and action. This means more than security measures. Humanity
must arm itself with ideas
, with justice
and with economic
Today, these challenges have special importance. Our world faces an assault by terrorists with ruthless ambition. The motive is not faith, it is power; power pursued by ripping countries and communities apart in sectarian conflicts, and inflicting suffering across the world.
There are those living in Europe today who remember the ravages that struck the continent in the late 1930s and the World War that followed because of an aggressive, expansionist ideology based on hate and disregard for the very essence of humanity. Europe’s war became the World’s War. Today, we are fighting a similar war. A war against an expansionist ideology that feeds on hate; that is committing murder in the name of God and religion to justify evil actions that no religion tolerates — a war against terrorists who disrespect Islam
and humanity’s values. Our victory now depends on our unity.
Europe’s role is vital. Only by cooperation can our regions shut down the sources of terrorist support and defeat their purposes. It is also essential that our regions renew the source of our great strength: the mutual respect that binds and sustains us.
Young people, especially, must be inspired by values that reject violence, create peace and build inclusive society.
A dialogue of respect is the rock-bed of all societies. Attacking and excluding others, insulting other peoples and their faith and convictions — this is no way forward. The future lies in unity and respect, not division and stereotypes.
I and countless other Muslims, have been taught from our earliest years that our religion demanded respect and caring for others.
The Prophet Mohammad
, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.” This is what it means to be a Muslim.Among the very names of God, we hear: the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.
All my life, every day, I have heard and used the greeting, Assalamu aleikum
— a wish for the other to be blessed with peace.
This is what it means to be a Muslim.
More than a thousand years before the Geneva Conventions, Muslim soldiers were ordered not to kill a child, a woman or an old person, not to destroy a tree, not to harm a priest, not to destroy a church.
These are the same values of Islam we were taught in school as children: not to destroy or desecrate a place where God is worshipped, not a mosque, not a church, not a synagogue.
This is what it means to be a Muslim. These are the values I teach my children and they will hand on to theirs.
I am outraged and grieved by the recent attacks in some countries against Christian and minority communities. This is an offense against humanity as well as Islam.
Arab Christians are an integral part of our region’s past, present and future.
Jordan is a Muslim country, with a deeply-rooted Christian community. Together, the Jordanian people make up an in- divisible society, friends and partners in building our country. The world’s Muslims have a critical role in global understanding.
Our faith, like yours, commands mercy, peace and tolerance. It upholds, as yours does, the equal human dignity of every person — men and women, neighbours and strangers.
Those outlaws of Islam who deny these truths are vastly outnumbered by the ocean of believers — 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. In fact, these terrorists have made the world’s Muslims their greatest target. We will not allow them to hijack our faith.
It is time to think about the future, and how this ongoing conflict will breed further hate, violence and terror across the world. How can we fight the ideological battle, if we do not chart the way forward towards Palestinian-Israeli peace?
Our countries, united, must provide the momentum and chart the way forward towards a final, comprehensive settlement.
Radicalisation thrives on economic insecurity and exclusion. To create stakeholders in a peaceful world, people need opportunities to fulfil their potential and build good lives. Helping them is a powerful message of respect.
Jordan also takes seriously our moral obligations to others. Despite scarce resources, the people of Jordan have opened their arms to refugees fleeing regional violence. Jordan has taken in thousands of Iraqi Christians over the past year. This is in addition to giving shelter to 1.4 million Syrian refugees, which is 20 per cent of the population, over the past few years. This is more than the equivalent of France hosting the entire population of Belgium. My small country is now the world’s third-largest refugee host and I thank all of you who are helping us to uphold this global responsibility.
History, geography and future bind us. Let no one separate us. Together, we can create pillars of mutual respect that will support the common good for generations to come.
Last edited on 7 March 2020, at 11:15
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