King Presses for Moderate Islam

September 14, 2005

Source: The Washington Post

On September 14, 2005 The Washington Post reported, "Six years after inheriting the throne, Jordan's King Abdullah II has picked up his father's mantle as a leading voice of moderate Islam, calling for the 'quiet majority' of Muslims to 'take back our religion from the vocal, violent and ignorant extremists,' in a speech yesterday at Catholic University. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington told the king that 'you have said things that we have looked forward to hearing from major Muslim leaders' and, in a reciprocal gesture, offered a concluding prayer 'in the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate.' Abdullah, 43, who was educated at private schools in England and the United States, became Jordan's constitutional monarch with the death of his father, King Hussein, in February 1999. Along with leaders in Egypt, Morocco and other moderate Islamic states, he has regularly denounced acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, including the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the July 7 bombings in London. But in the past year, Abdullah has gone further, initiating a legal and scholarly effort to undermine clerics who issue religious rulings that justify violence."