[CUA Office of Public Affairs] 






Sept. 13, 2005


Jordanian Leader Speaks About

Reclaiming Moderate Islam at CUA Law School

King Abdullah II, monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, spoke Tuesday at the Columbus School of Law.

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? King Abdullah II, monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, delivered an address: ?Traditional Islam: The Path to Peace? at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 13.


More than 350 people filled the law building?s William J. Byron, S.J. Auditorium, where the address was delivered. Very Rev. David M. O?Connell, C.M., president, and law school Dean Veryl V. Miles introduced the Jordanian leader, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington and CUA chancellor, delivered closing remarks and a prayer.


Links to the King?s remarks and a video of the event can be found below:


Address by King Abdullah II of Jordan



The king?s remarks built upon recent efforts to enhance understanding about the true tenets and teachings of Islam.  In July 2005, as a result of the International Islamic Conference hosted by King Abdullah II in Amman, more than 180 scholars representing 45 countries signed a final declaration unanimously condemning the practice known as takfir (calling others ?apostates?) that is used by extremists to justify violence. The declaration also recognized the legitimacy of all eight of the traditional schools of Islamic religious law from the Sunni, Shi?i and Ibadi branches of Islam, and identified their common principles and beliefs. It defined the necessary qualifications and conditions for issuing fatwas (religious directives), contrasting them to the  illegitimacy of so-called fatwas justifying terrorism that are issued ?outside? of the traditional schools of Islamic religious law and in  violation of Islam?s core principles.


The Sept. 13 lecture was the only official address given by King Abdullah II during his two-day swing through Washington. En route to the United States, King Abdullah also met with Pope Benedict XVI to build on the relations that Jordan had established with Pope John Paul II, and to discuss ways in which Muslims and Christians can continue to work together for peace, tolerance and coexistence.


King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein assumed his constitutional powers as monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Feb. 7, 1999, the day his father, the late King Hussein, passed away. Born in Amman in 1962, he began his primary education at the Islamic Educational College in Amman and later attended private schools in England and America. Prior to his current position, King Abdullah II spent many years in the military holding various ranks, among them commander of the Royal Jordanian Special Forces and special operations commander.


Since his ascension to the throne, King Abdullah II has continued his late father's commitment to lead Jordan as a positive moderating force within the Arab region and the world. The married father of four children, King Abdullah II is a qualified frogman, pilot and a free-fall parachutist. His other interests include automobile racing, water sports, scuba diving and collecting ancient weapons and armaments.


The king?s address at CUA was an initiative of the Columbus School of Law?s Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, which extended the invitation and arranged the king?s visit. The program was created to provide a forum for study, research and public discussion of issues arising at the nexus of law and religion.

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The Catholic University of America, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the university opened as a graduate research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students from all states and 90 countries enrolled in 11 schools of architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, social service, and theology and religious studies. 





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