Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke Monday at the UN General Assembly debate in New York, honing in on the battle against the Islamic State, the situation in Jerusalem, and the Syrian refugee crisis as the primary issues for Amman and the world as a whole.
Speaking in English, Abdullah warned that the future is being threatened by the “outlaws of Islam that operate globally today.”
“These outlaw gangs use suspicion and ignorance to expand their own power, and worse still, is the free hand they grant themselves to distort the word of God; to justify the most atrocious of crimes,” he added.
“All of us here are united by our conviction that these forces must be defeated,” the Jordanian King said.
“What would our world look like” in a future involving “mass-murder, public beheadings,” and rampant slavery, he asked. “I have called this crisis a third world war, and I believe we must respond with equal intensity. That means global collective actions on all fronts,” Abdullah said, adding that all nations must also engage in the ideological war against extremists.
Abdullah said that the global community must unite, “love our neighbor and show respect to those who are different from us.”
“Let us amplify the voice of moderation,” he advocated. “It is one of the greatest ironies of our time that extremist voices use advanced media to propagate ignorant ideas.”
“We too must populate our media, and more importantly, the minds of our young people with the purity and power of moderation,” he added.
“They use religion as a mask” to gain power, Abdullah said.
“In the global Muslim community; 1.7 billion good men and women; a quarter of humanity; today’s outlaw gangs are nothing but a drop in an ocean, but a drop of venom can poison a well,” he added.
Abdullah then turned to Jerusalem’s “Islamic and Christian holy sites,” seemingly ignoring the historically-documented Jewish ties to the holy land. “We join Muslims and Christians everywhere in rejecting threats to the holy places and the Arab character of this holy city,” he said.
He then discussed the Syrian refugee crises afflicting Europe and the Middle East. “It is the world’s obligation to find solutions and provide relief for the millions of refugees in my region,” Abdullah insisted. “Today Syrian refugees alone constitute 20 percent of my country’s population.” Jordan has taken in more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations.
“It is high time that the international community acts collectively in facing this humanitarian crisis,” he said, pleading for financial support for the countries that absorb refugees.