“War against terror is not against any religion but between moderates and extremist”, King Abdullah of Jordan

New Delhi: Global war in the world today against terror is not a fight against different religion or its people but between the moderates of all faith and extremist whose faith is hate and violence, said Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, King of Jordan, at an event organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi on Thursday.

King of Jordan, who is known for his global initiative to fight deradicalisation and terrorism, delivered a lecture on Islamic heritage and promoting understanding and moderation. This speech was the highlight of his three-day visit to India.

The visiting monarch who is also custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam located in the old City of Jerusalem, said Islam which is followed by 1.8 billion Muslims around the world is traditional, tolerant and plural religion dedicated to love of God, following Prophet Muhammad and a faith of kindness and virtue.

King Abdullah while speaking about his upbringing said. “Every day as I grew up, I heard the name of God, I heard Assalamu Alaikum – the blessings of peace and how it was a Muslim’s duty to protect people”.

He also talked about his great-great-grandfather Sharif Hussein bin Ali, who, a hundred years ago, came to the rescue of Christian refugees escaping persecution in their own homeland. “He told his people to protect them the same way they’d protect their property and families,” said the king.

He said that most problems in the world are inflamed by suspicions of what people don’t know about each other. “We need to take this danger seriously but never allow them to distract from the truth that faith should draw humanity together. Faith tells us to love our neighbour that allows us to prosper and thrive,” he noted.

A translation of a book “A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam — the Essence of Islam in 12 versus from the Quran” has been released at the event. The book is authored by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal – a cousin of the King, well-known scholar and Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs in Jordan.

The book is an attempt to interpret the real meaning of Islam and to wean it away from those that have been distorting its philosophy and seeking to bring it into perpetual conflict with the rest of the world, said an expert in Islamic studies.

The event was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several senior dignitaries including Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India and representatives from leading Islamic institutions from across the country.

The influential leader’s India visit comes nearly three weeks after the Prime Minister visited Jordan as part of his recent trip to West Asia, including to Palestine. PM Modi’s visit to Jordan was the first bilateral trip by an Indian Prime Minister in three decades.