Jordanian Baptist says his king has military prowess to eliminate ISIS

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |
King Abdullah II of Jordan and Dr. Nabeeh Abbassi, a well-known evangelical theologian, at the Royal Palace in Jordan in 2009. Abbassi is founder of Arab Center for Training and Consulting Services (ACCTS), an official NGO serving refugees in the Middle East. | Courtesy of Dr. Nabeeh Abbassi/Used with Permission

DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – In the United States for a year-long sabbatical, Jordanian national Dr. Nabeeh Abbassi, the former president of the Jordan Baptist Convention, noted his king's military prowess in expressing confidence his native Jordan, working with the United States, will rid humanity of the ISIS savages who burned alive a Jordanian pilot trapped inside a cage.

King Abdullah, in Washington for a diplomatic mission, returned to Jordan early Feb. 4 following the release of a grisly video showing the death of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh on the internet.

Jordan's king reportedly vowed to pursue ISIS until his military runs "out of fuel and bullets" when meeting behind closed doors with U.S. lawmakers.

Dr. Nabeeh Abbassi and his wife, Ruba, in native Jordanian ceremonial clothing. | Courtesy of Nabeeh Abbassi/Used with Permission

Dr. Abbassi and King Abdullah, who have met, are both in their early fifties and have served the country's military – although Abbassi told Christian Examiner he left the military after a two-year stint to pursue biblical studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he eventually earned both the master's and doctor of ministry degrees. Both men speak English.

"I believe Jordan needs to be proactive and hit them before they gain more power," Abbassi said of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) – the terrorist organization now identifying itself as ISIL, a move Abbassi said indicates a desire to take over the "Levant" or area indicating what is known to biblicists as Canaan, the promised land.

Abbassi, a former provost and professor at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, and pastor of West Amman Baptist Church, is the founder and general director of the Arab Center for Consulting and Training Services (ACCTS), an officially recognized NGO that supports organizations such as Arab Women Today to provide relief to refugees and others who are needy.

"King Abdullah is a well-trained solder and Jordan has a strong intelligence department, a united country, a strong army, and great allies -- including the strongest nation in the world, the United States of America," said Abbassi, who was born in Zarqa, the second largest city in Jordan.

Zarqa also is the birthplace of Absu Musab al-Zarqawi, a militant Islamist, known as the founding father of ISIL. He was killed in 2006 by U.S. joint forces, but a Western diplomat said recently Zarqa and other northern cities have become "fertile breeding grounds for extremism and recruitment by violent groups just as al-Qaeda's Jabhat al-Nusra, or ISIL."

Reports have shown the pilot in the video could have been dead for over a month. Before learning that fact, Jordan was considering an offer to trade a prisoner -- convicted in a 2005 triple hotel bombing that killed 60 in Amman -- for the life of the captured pilot, according to Fox news.

In the video, the Jordanian pilot showed signs of having been beaten, according to Fox News.

Someone speaking Arabic condemns Jordan and other Arab nations for taking part in U.S. airstrikes against ISIS and in the final five minutes of the recording, the caged pilot is doused with gasoline and set afire, his screams piercing with agony.

The video ends with ISIS offering "100 golden Dinars" to any Muslim in Jordan who kills a Jordanian pilot.

President Obama, according to CNN, has said if the video is authentic, it "will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of a global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated."

For his part, fearing ISIS' focus has moved to include Lebanon and Jordan in its plan for world domination, Abbassi is confident of his king's response and believes it is appropriate given the context of escalating violence in the region.

"I think the king has a golden opportunity to finish this dirty job and relieve humanity from this evil group," Abbassi told Christian Examiner.