THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MUSLIM 

(KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN)

It is important to clarify what it really means to be a Muslim. 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. My friends, 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 indivisible 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.

Thank you very much. 



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