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The King's high moral grounds

May 19,2019 - Last updated at May 19,2019

The recently held meeting in Paris on the “Christchurch Call” was a turning point in the desperate struggle to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as all extremist ideas online.

Several world leaders, but unfortunately not a whole lot, attended the meeting. What is eye-catching and noteworthy is the fact that His Majesty King Abdullah was the only Arab head of state to take part.

Why this Arab silence and why the limited number of heads of state who bothered to participate in an effort that presumably the entire international community agrees upon and is united on combating, as the exploitation of online platforms to spread and propagate the message of extremism and terrorism is something that bothers the conscience of humanity.

In retrospect, the Paris meeting of like-minded world leaders is a follow-up on the Aqaba Process that has been precursor of similar efforts spearheading the global effort to combat, if not eradicate, terrorism and the extremist ideas associated with it.

In other words, the Aqaba Process is the forerunner and the bedrock for all continued international efforts and campaigns to defeat terrorism and end the exploitation of modern technology to promote them, in order to achieve regional and international peace and security.

In effect, the Aqaba Process is the culmination of global meetings launched by His Majesty in 2015 to bolster security and international cooperation and coordination, and wage war on terrorism and any “advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”, as stipulated in Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The King’s attendance of the recent Paris meeting must be seen, therefore, against the backdrop of his proven credentials as the outstanding champion of the global and regional campaigns not only to reverse the tide of terrorism and extremism, but rather to defeat them.

The King has repeatedly held the high moral ground in this vein. When the terrorist attacks occurred against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in March of 2015, His Majesty and Her Majesty Queen Rania marched in Paris alongside thousands of other dignitaries to demonstrate against the heinous terrorist attacks, and show solidarity with the families of the victims as well as the entire French people on that terrible occasion.

Once again, the King had taken the moral high ground to protest and demonstrate where he and his Kingdom stood whenever terrorists kill innocent people anywhere in the world.

And when 51 Muslim worshippers were gunned down at two mosques in Christchurch in March, the King, once again, did not fail to respond by condemning the killing of scores of innocent people in no uncertain terms.

The King’s spontaneous and unequivocal readiness to participate in the recent Paris meeting has to be seen, therefore, against the backdrop of a commitment to join in the fight against terrorism by all lawful means. The King is truly one of a kind, and his country is proud of his courageous and moral commitment to save humanity from the terror of extremists.

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