His Majesty’s statements to the foreign press

I just finished reading the interview that His Majesty king Abdullah gave to foreign papers in which he discussed a number of interesting topics. One particular quote that caught my eye was this:

"There’s a problem inside of Islam. The problem is not Jordan or the United States or Saudi Arabia," the king maintained.
Source [The Financial Times]

I wonder how this statement will be perceived in the Muslim world at large. This Egyptian blogger called His Majesty brave for admitting this.

First Middle Eastern leader admits that there is a problem in Islam. Middle Eastern counrtries like Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Saudi Arabic were attacked by Islamists’ terrorism but most defended Islam as saying this is not not the "true Islam". King Abullah, first brave Arab leader, to admit the problem. The language of King Abdullah indictates seriousness and firmness in tackling Jordan’s crisis with terrorism.

Another statement that caught my eye was that Jordan is planning to abolish the death penalty.

"We want to lead as the first country in the Middle East to do away with capital punishment," he said.

Way to go Jordan. I’m totally for abolishing the death penalty.

16 thoughts on “His Majesty’s statements to the foreign press”

  1. I think there is a problem in Islam. I think there is also a problem in Islamic nations. I think the King and all of the non elected autocratic, dicatatorial governments are a part of the issue. Time for reform in Islam, time for a reform in Islamic nations.

  2. This is a start for someting big. A leader of a Muslim country saying reform is the way to go … for government and “Islam”.
    Let’s hope he will live to see it!

  3. I am not sure what the king meant when he talked about a problem “inside of Islam”, but I sure hope he was not talking along the lines of what everyone here I think is hoping he was. I don’t believe there is any problem with Islam when you just say “Islam”, but I do believe there are many problems that have found their way into Islam’s mainstream, and those are the problems that need to be tackled.
    About the capital punishment, I think it should stay. There are a million other ways a conviction can destroy people’s lives even if they were saved from the death penalty. The death penalty in itself is not the problem, it is the justice system, and in the case of Jordan, I imagine there is a very long list of things in the justice system that have to be taken care of before reaching a discussion about the capital punishment.

  4. I really doubt the interpretation.
    The King’s quote is part of a lengthy article that was not entirely published. Journalism 101, crop what makes your story.In this case, the quotes used in the article published in FT.
    I don’t this the King could say such a thing; he loses all credibility if he did: He is muslim ruling a muslim country afterall.
    Personally, I do not think there is a problem in Islam. Bombing Muslim countries killing people who are obviously innocent is clearly a false unacceptable representation of Islam – Neither the Qur’an nor the Prophet’s sayings justify, or explain those acts.
    Reformation is good and healthy, as long as its not used as a veil to cover a hidden agenda. Didn’t the Americans invade Iraq under the name of Reformation anyway?

  5. “I am with the abolishing of death penalty too; but lets first get rid of atroush and zarkawi.”
    Yes, this is what I am talking about. There is always an excuse as to why reform cannot happen. It used to be the zionists/Jews/Israel. Now it is the extremists. There is NO reason why Jordan cant get these guys AND reform. This is a red herring for a government that is not interested in reform.

  6. Natasha, I am surprised that only those two quotes attracted your attention.
    With regards to the problem in Islam, I think Islam in itself has reached a crisis, probably in the last of the ottoman days, and now it has come to its peak.
    The problem with Islam is that muslims believe it is a religion for all times and all people and that it cannot change or adapt to modern world and the modern world has to adapt to it. It is in this very basic idea that people like Al-Qaeda are finding morale in what they do.
    I would say, muslims should either completely seperate religion from state, laws and social norms, or, revise their religion, look at it from an open-minded sense, no body has done that for hundreds of years, since the islamic empire collapsed.
    We can say that terrorists have nothing to do with ‘true’ islam, but they have to do with Islam, hence they find alot of support, even now in Jordan! To me there’s no such thing as true, moderate, or whatever, Islam, it is what it is and there are barely any debatable interpretations of the Quran or related teachings.
    Lets face it, Islam and modernity will always have a clash!

  7. Dear Rami,
    The reason I chose these quotes was because His Majesty was probably the first Arab leader to publicly say this about Islam. Wouldn’t this attract you?
    It attracted even non-Jordanians including the Egyptian blogger that I mentioned in the post.
    The second quote attracted me was because I never knew that Jordan was working on abolishing the capital punishment. Both quotes were news to me.

  8. Please point me to the source of the king’s statement that he wants Jordan to be the first country to abolish the death penalty. Human Rights Watch would be thrilled!

  9. Dear Natasha,
    I absoloutly think those were interesting quotes, but I thought there are also alot more interesting quotes, that was my point.
    The King’s speech to CNN introduced many new ideas and insights about how the Jordanian leadership thinks.

  10. The king is absolutely right. There is somethign inherently wrong with Islam. The central belief that the Quran is inerrant and not open to discussion is the centre of the problem. Islam is in dire need of reform. I am extremely pleased that the King came out and said it.

  11. The King didnt say there is something wrong with Islam. Interesting that everyone is reading their own little personal ideas into his quote. He said the problem is “inside” Islam. Not with Islam, but within the Islamic world. I couldnt agree more.
    Islam is a religion for all times. There is nothing wrong with Islam, rather something greatly wrong with Muslims and the Islamic world, for sure. Islam is a dynamic religion, those who think it is stagnant and a religion based on the old times are those extremists, and those who would through it away.
    Stop looking at things in black and white. The extremists in religion and those who would throw religion away. Opposite sides of the same coin.

Comments are closed.