ASIA/JORDAN- King Abdallah II: Christians are an “integral part of the tissue of the Arab world"
Amman – "Christians are an “integral part of the tissue of the Arab world ”, and Jordan intends to continue its commitment to safeguarding ecclesiastical properties. This was strongly affirmed by King Abdallah II of Jordan, when on 10 April in Amman he received Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Orthodox Syriac Patriarch of Antioch. King Abdallah, in the meeting with the Primate of the Syrian Orthodox Church, underlined that the Hashemite Monarchy will also continue to play its historic role in the protection and care of the Islamic and Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem.
The Kingdom of Jordan has never hidden its proper nature as an Islamic nation, ruled by a dynasty that legitimates its power on the grounds of descent directly in line from Mohammed, the panarab secularist or progressive theories which in the 1970s spread in neighboring countries from Syria to Egypt to Iraq, never affected Jordan.
Inter-fusion between the Islamic religion and state institutions happens without second thoughts. Grand Mufti and Imam in the mosques are appointed by the civil authorities which oversee their activity. High ranking Islamic dignitaries are consulted about the conformity of government decisions with the precepts of the Koran.
Jordan Christians have never raised objection of principle regarding the Islamic legitimization of the institutional structure limiting themselves to benefiting from the “moderate” application of the Koranic rules on the part of the Jordan Royalty. Islam is the state religion but the Constitution of 1952 sanctioned equality of all Jordanians before the law with no discrimination based on «race, discipline or religion». Jordan guarantees «freedom of expression for all forms of worship and religion in keeping with the customs observed in Jordan», and also freedom of teaching.
King Abdallah periodically asserts his role as protector of the Islamic and Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem. .
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