In the wake of terrorist attacks last week in Beirut and Paris, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Sunday that terrorism is the “greatest threat to our region,” and Muslims must lead the fight to stop it. His comments came in a speech Sunday to the country’s Parliament in Amman, according to the Associated Press.
"Terrorist groups ... threaten many countries in the region and beyond, which makes confronting extremism a shared regional and international responsibility," he said. "However, this collective responsibility, in its essence, is our fight as Muslims against those who aim to turn our societies and future generations towards fanaticism and extremism."
While Abdullah did not specifically address the Paris attacks that left 129 people dead and hundreds more wounded, he previously called them a “cowardly terrorist act.” Jordan is part of the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group and has joined the U.S. in airstrikes against the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.
World leaders met Saturday in Vienna to discuss the conflict in Syria, which has spurred the rise of ISIS. There, leaders agreed that Jordan will lead efforts to create a common list of terrorist groups in Syria to help other countries fight terrorism going forward, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Sunday.
“The work will be coordinated on supplementing the terrorist list; Jordan will be in charge of coordination,” Lavrov told reporters, according to the Associated Press.
Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies also met Sunday in Turkey for the G-20 summit, where they discussed efforts to combat terrorism and increasing their fight against ISIS.
King Abdullah is not the only leader to call for Muslims to lead the fight against terrorism. In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the secretary-general of the world’s largest group of Muslim countries, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, also denounced the terrorist attacks and promised “unwavering solidarity and support to France.”
Sunni scholars from the Muslim World League in the holy city of Mecca on Sunday also condemned the attacks in Paris and Beirut.
Muslim leaders in the United States, too, have publicly denounced the attacks. After terrorist attacks, Muslims in the U.S. have often experienced backlash from people who use the incidents to launch attacks on them.
As more information about the Paris attacks comes to light, leaders are developing plans to advance antiterrorism efforts. The European Union will meet Friday to discuss the impact of the recent attacks, according to the AP. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who asked for the meeting, said Sunday, “our battle against terrorism must be, more than ever, steadfast,” and must be reinforced at the European level.