Jordan Queen Says Anti-IS Fight Key to Saving Islam

Jordan's Queen Rania on Tuesday urged support for U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group, saying the future of the Middle East and Islam was at stake.

"Our silence is the greatest gift" for IS, which has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, she told participants at a media summit in Abu Dhabi.

"We are complicit in their success," added the queen.

She is married to King Abdullah II, whose Hashemite kingdom has joined the U.S.-led air campaign against IS in Syria along with Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"The coalition must be broader... It's the fight for the future of the Middle East and Islam," she said. "It's a fight that we have to win."

She said the fight goes beyond the battleground and is between moderates and extremists worldwide.

"Winning also depends on our ability to conquer the philosophical battleground as well. Because at the heart of this assault is an ideology," she said.

Queen Rania stressed the need for education reform, insisting that the followers of extremist groups are "from classrooms in which they were never challenged to think for themselves, and where they learned an outdated curriculum".

Analysts have warned of the dangers for Jordan because of its participation in the campaign against IS, a Sunni Muslim extremist group that has committed widespread atrocities in areas under its control.

Amman is grappling with its own Islamist extremists, some of whom have joined jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

The United States has also launched bombing raids against IS in Iraq with the involvement of European allies.

Source: Agence France Presse

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