Jordan's Queen Rania on ISIS: They 'hijacked Islam'

by Joni B. Hannigan |

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)Jordan's Queen Rania (L) holds a picture of recently executed Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh during a march after Friday prayers in downtown Amman February 6, 2015. Thousands of Jordanians gathered to show their loyalty to the King and to show solidarity with the family of the pilot, Muath al-Kasasbeh, killed by Islamic State.

DUBAI (Christian Examiner) -- Queen Rania of Jordan said education policies in the Arab world need to be changed to eliminate "the ideology of hate and terrorism."

"Islam is our responsibility. Our identity is our responsibility," said the queen about the need to defeat ISIS both military and ideologically.

Days after the release of a grisly video showing a Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage by ISIS, the Queen Rania Al Abdullah -- set attend this week's United Arab Emirates UAE Government Summit in Dubai -- addressed the conference through a recorded video message now posted on YouTube.

Addressing leaders of almost 100 countries and thousands of participants in Arabic, she told them "there has never been a more pressing time" for such a summit.

"We need to change education policies in the Arab world to ones that ensure quality learning for our children and that instill in them the true values of religion, patriotism, coexistence, and hard work," the queen said.

Queen Rania said she supports fair policies for participation of men and women "from all ethnic and religious groups, so that we can capitalize on the full potential of our countries."

These policies would lead to a "new reality for the Arab world," she said.

The queen's remarks on education followed more than four minutes of talk about Jordan's reaction to the torturous death of its pilot, and a distancing of the country – an ally of the United States – as one in "confrontation with those who have hijacked Islam."

"A dark cloud of sadness and grief has kept us from joining you because our hearts in Jordan are heavy with pain and anger," the queen said at the start of her remarks.

"Sorrow drapes our skies and home across our nationa are united in condolence for our martyred Captain Muath Al-Kassasbeh, God rest his soul in peace."

The queen spoke unhesitatingly about Jordan's determination to face head-on the increasing engagement of its military in the region.

"My country, Jordan, is facing crisis and tragedy with patience, faith, and determination to fight terrorism and hold accountable those who are committing the most heinous and brutal atrocities of our time," she said in the video.

"The most trying times often bring us face to face with our responsibilities," she continued. "Islam is our responsibility. Our identity is our responsibility."

Queen Rania spoke of "peaceful co-existence" and passing on a legacy to children who will "pass on a peaceful, Muslim, Arab world to future generations."

(REUTERS/ALI Jarekji)Jordan's King Abdullah (front R) and Queen Rania (back R) walk with Pope Francis (L) during a welcoming ceremony in Amman, May 24, 2014. Pope Francis' visit was an attempt to bring hope to the dwindling Christian population and an appeal to members of all religions to work together for peace.

"We are in a confrontation with those who have hijacked our religion," she said, "those who malign Islam with their violence, bloodshed, and slaughter. They claim to be successors of the Islamic Caliphate, but they have no conscience, and no heart. On their right hand, the blood of innocent victims, and with their left they campaign people to join their barbaric law of the jungle.

"Islam is innocent of their crimes, their laws, and their Takfir dogma," she continued.

She said the tortured Jordanian pilot was a faithful Muslim who knowingly sacrificed his life for his country.

"The starts that adorn military uniforms – like those the martyr pilot Muath carried with him to the sky – light up our dark nights and keep us safe," the queen said. "The eagles on our Arab pilots' chests soar high, embodying the vision and determination of our leadership to defeat terrorism in all its forms before its ideology spreads further, invading the safety of our homes and wreaking havoc the world over."

The UAE Dubai 2015 conference began Monday and ended today.

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