Jordan’s king urges Muslims to lead fight against terror
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Jordan’s king urges Muslims to lead fight against terror

Without mentioning Paris attacks, Abdullah II says extremist groups are making Mideast unstable and promoting deadly ideology

File: King Abdullah II of Jordan, February 3, 2015, in Washington, DC. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)
File: King Abdullah II of Jordan, February 3, 2015, in Washington, DC. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday urged Muslims to lead the fight against extremist groups who carry out terrorist attacks, which the monarch called the “greatest threat” to stability in the Middle East.

Confronting extremism, Abdullah said, is “both a regional and international responsibility, but it is mainly our battle, us Muslims, against those who seek to hijack our societies and generations with intolerant takfiri ideology.”

“Takfiri” refers to the radical Islamic practice of declaring one’s enemies to be infidels worthy of death.

The speech did not specifically refer to the attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State jihadists that killed at least 129 people, which Abdullah previously condemned as a “cowardly terrorist act.”

Jordan is taking part in the US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State group.

Also Sunday, the secretary general of the world’s largest body of Muslim nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, condemned the Paris terrorist attacks and expressed the organization’s “unwavering solidarity and support to France.”

From the Saudi-based headquarters of the 57-nation bloc, OIC chief Iyad Madani said the organization firmly rejects any terrorist acts that violate the right to life and that seek to undermine the “values of freedom and equality that France has consistently promoted.”

Sunni scholars with the Muslim World League based in Islam’s holiest city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia also condemned the attacks Sunday, as well the suicide bombings in Beirut a day earlier.

US President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015. (AFP Photo / Sauk Loeb)
US President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015. (AFP Photo / Sauk Loeb)

World leaders joined a heavily guarded summit in Turkey on Sunday to forge a united front against jihadist violence after the Paris attacks, but faced stark divisions over conflict-riven Syria.

The gathering, which is taking place without French leader Francois Hollande, offers the first possibility of a meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin since Russia recently launched its own air campaign in Syria.

The leaders will probably struggle to find common ground over the Syria crisis, with host Turkey deeply opposed to Russia’s air strikes and finding only a lukewarm reaction so far to its proposal for a safe zone free of Islamic State jihadists to be created inside Syria as a haven for refugees.

Top diplomats gathered in Vienna on Saturday agreed a fixed calendar for Syria that would see a transition government in six months and elections in 18 months but failed to agree on the future of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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