Defending the Faith

Islam is a Religion of Peace

Violence there has been. Tragic, painful, hurtful, condemned by so many, abhorred by so many. But it is the work of a minority. A minority here and a minority there, who cannot move, who cannot think, who cannot break away from their prejudices and shortsightedness.

Some even claim this is the way to God. In my belief, from the innermost of my heart, I believe this is the way which is exactly the opposite, and those are the enemies of life, the enemies of humanity, the enemies of peace and stability, the enemies of security. They are there, they will continue to be there, and they may be quieter at times, if we are more aware and able to cope with them and what they represent in the way of a threat. Or if they feel that things are going badly for the cause of peace, then they are satisfied that they have contributed towards that end, and therefore they are relatively quiet.

Address to Representatives of the German Media
Baden Baden, Germany
April 24, 1998


There's so much in the Quran on peace, as there is on submission to one God, the attributes of God, heaven and respect for the other two monotheistic religions. These are teachings we don't much hear about, but they affect me in my political life, supporting my firm belief that I'm doing the right thing. It's along these lines that so much can be taught.

Interview with Milton Viorst
“The Hashemite Option”
Chapter 10 of In the Shadow of the Prophet, 1998


I believe the impact of the extremist leaders on the young, on the unnurtured, has been almost criminal. I have read the Quran so many times, and each time I read it something becomes clearer, and with the passage of years I always find something new. When you think of idealistic young people, wanting to do so much, if you couple that with oppression and lack of opportunity, you find fertile ground for extremism. I've seen it so many times. And I've seen how people have started out and how they have ended up. Many who have the opportunity to think things out eventually mature and settle down. This, I suppose, is a part of life. What we need to do is to speak openly about Islam, and defend it and present it properly and prevent its abuse.

Interview with Milton Viorst
“The Hashemite Option”
Chapter 10 of In the Shadow of the Prophet, 1998


The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has always believed that world peace is the path to human salvation. As we approach the twenty-first century, it is time to look again at our terminology. It is frequently confusing and misleading, and it needs to be redefined. Suicide is not “martyrdom.” Terrorism is not “the ultimate sacrifice.” The killing of innocent people is not “jihad.” Jihad in the service of faith requires respect for human life, and respect for treaties and charters. Islam strictly forbids the killing of civilians.

Let me say this loud and clear. There is a world of difference between terrorist acts and the Islamic Shari’a. Islam is not only a religion, but a way of life. And at its heart lie the sacred principles of tolerance and dialogue.

This is an appropriate forum for us to clear the name of our faith, and to cleanse its tarnished image. The murder and torture of innocent civilians is not exclusive to any one race or nation, or to the followers of any one religion.

Address to the “Summit of the Peacemakers”
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
March 13, 1996


We are seeing a phenomenon (“fundamentalism”) that is present in the rest of the world, and is present in other areas and other religions. What we are seeing in most cases is the result of a feeling of despair and anger and frustration.

I think that a very important ingredient is that of democracy, in which people have a part in shaping their own future. And wherever that is not there, I think that you’ll see the manifestations of the extremes. Regardless of the names that we see, it has nothing to do with our religion. In most cases, our religion is a continuation of the two great basic religions (Judaism and Christianity). Anyone who looks deeply into this will find that there isn’t a gap or a difference at all. I find it a religious duty to do everything I can to bring about peace and understanding amongst us.

Interview with Parade magazine
April 2, 1995


It is our duty—a responsibility from which we must not shirk—to make a stand against those who claim the monopoly of truth and justice, or those amongst us who encourage terror and violence, whether state, organization or individual. Ignoring any or all of this would constitute ingratitude to the Ummah, its faith and religion, and would illustrate men's fear of one another in the earthly world rather than a rightful fear of God in Heaven. As such, we cannot categorize as martyrs in jihad, those amongst the anguished and despairing, particularly the young, who die, misguided by the aforementioned advocates of terror and violence; for we will all be accountable for the young before Almighty God on our Day of Judgement.

Address to the Seventh Organization of the Islamic Conference Summit
Casablanca, Morocco
December 14, 1994


I wish to affirm here that Islam cannot be against peace; it cannot side with darkness against light, or with death against life. Therefore, the pulpits of God's Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him), may not after today serve as places for irresponsible expression in the name of Islam, which is innocent of all terrorism, oppression and charges of infidelity and belittlement. Islam does not condone the expropriation of the people's right to hear from these pulpits all that is good about their religion and their life here on earth.

Address to the Nation
November 15, 1994


Our Arab and Islamic causes, foremost among which is the Palestinian cause, are just ones, and we must not replace our struggle which is legitimate in human, legal and international terms with terrorist acts that can only blemish our struggle, thwart its momentum, and provide our enemies with an opportunity to confuse both kinds of endeavors, and to stultify the justice of our causes, or even to suppress them altogether. We must all declare our just verdict in this regard and put an end to the acts of those few who have distorted our image and harmed our causes.

Address at the Fifth Summit of the Islamic Conference Organization
January 29, 1987


We do not hear of terrorist acts ascribed to the religion of their perpetrators except in the case of Arabs and Muslims. Why? Because the enemies of the Arabs and the Muslims find in acts of terror an easy means to distort our image and to isolate us to justify their accts of aggression or to perpetuate their hegemony and carry out their expansionist policies in our lands, which are strategically important, both in terms of geography and resources.

Address at the Fifth Summit of the Islamic Conference Organization
January 29, 1987