Palestinian cause serves as extremist ‘rallying cry’: King Abdullah

STRASBOURG // King Abdullah II of Jordan warned on Tuesday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was essential for combating extremism, saying the conflict served as a rallying cry for militants.

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, King Abdullah said that the battle against ISIL in Iraq and Syria was “first and foremost” a fight for Muslim nations to carry out, but also called on Europeans to fight hostility towards Islam that he said was fuelling extremism among Muslims.

He praised Europe’s “unbeatable courage” in responding to attacks, such as those in Paris in January, and likened ISIL to Nazism – “an expansionist ideology based on hatred”.

But in calling for cooperation to combat extremist violence, the king – who attended commemorations for the slain French satirists of Charlie Hebdo but criticised the paper’s use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohmmed – said that European governments must promote “mutual respect” and an “inclusive society”.