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Speeches
Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the 10th Session of the Islamic Summit
Putrajaya, Malaysia
16 October 2003

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

Prayers and salutations be upon our Lord Mohammad, and on His household and Apostles.
Your Excellency President Mahathir Mohammad,
Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

Peace be upon you, God's mercy and His blessings.

It is with pleasure that I extend our congratulations to His Excellence President Mahathir Mohammad on his presidency to this organisation for the three forthcoming years. I wish His Excellence success and accomplishment. It is my pleasure also to extend deep thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifeh Al Thani on his commendable efforts during his term of presidency to this organisation for the past three years.

This conference convenes in exceptionally complex international circumstances. The world has witnessed in the last few years many events and developments, which form major challenges for our peoples and this organisation.

The first of these challenges is globalisation, and the communication and information technology revolution that came with it as well as the removing of barriers amongst states and peoples. Despite the numerous opportunities of globalisation, many peoples, the Islamic peoples included, still deal with this new reality with suspicion and fear that it might threaten their cultural identity and civilisation, as well as their national independence. In fact, this fear is no justification for withdrawal or seclusion. Islamic civilisation has interacted through the ages with many cultures and civilisations and it had the strength and originality to impact other cultures and to influence them more than it was influenced by them.

The real challenge facing us today is to articulate a common vision on how to deal with this new reality, and how to benefit from available opportunity in such a way that makes our peoples partners in benefiting from the fruits of globalisation, rather than mere passive followers who suffer its consequences.

The more serious challenge however, facing our Muslim peoples is the unjust accusations that Islam and Muslims are being subjected to and the continuous efforts to link Islam and Muslims with terrorism. This is happening due to others' ignorance of the principles of Islam, and their malpractices that have no relation to Islam. It is one of our holiest duties as Muslims to portray Islam to others in its real form, that of a religion of tolerance, moderation, rational and logical dialogue that shuns all forms of fanaticism and terrorism.

The time has come for us Muslims to tell the world that we are ourselves victims of terrorism, that we are targeted like them, and even more. In fact, distorting the image of Islam and provoking the World's animosity against it, and placing us in a pre-convicted circle, is in itself, the most hideous form of terrorism.

Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

Some of our Muslim peoples are still under occupation. Some of them still lack security and stability, the confiscation of their liberties, and disrespect for their human rights. The Palestinian cause remains at a standstill. Jerusalem – Al Quds Al Sharif, for which this organisation has been formed, remains under occupation. Our duty as Muslims prompts us all to stand with and by the Palestinian people and to support them with all possible means until they re-gain their rights, establish their independent state on their national soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.

As for Iraq, it is not enough to only talk about the Iraqi people's right to control their own wealth and natural resources and to select their leadership and future. We are required to take a clear political stance that would enable the Iraqi people to achieve their legitimate national ambitions, and to reinstate Iraq to its real role in the international community.

Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

Poverty, ignorance, absence of social justice, and disrespect respect for human rights, form a fertile environment for extremism and violence. It becomes thus imperative that we cooperate amongst ourselves to achieve development and social prosperity that would enable our peoples to live in climates of freedom, justice, and respect for human rights. Let us seize the opportunity and send a message to the world, to support the aspirations of our peoples for a dignified life that guarantees security and stability, not only in our countries, but throughout the world.

Brothers, it is time for us to strengthen ties of cooperation and coordination liaison amongst our countries and our peoples; and to work for revitalising the role of this organisation for a better Muslim future, one that bridges the gap between us and the developed countries, one that reinstates to our Islamic nation the status that its heritage, and its great civilised humane role deserves.

Once again I salute you, and pray to the Almighty, to crown our efforts with success, and to direct us all to the path of goodness, He is the Lord and the Proponent.

Peace be upon you, God's mercy and His blessings.