IMAGE: Queen Noor of Jordan
Zoe Selsky  /  AP
Queen Noor of Jordan spoke out while in Colombia on an anti-land mine campaign.
updated 10/25/2004 3:05:39 PM ET 2004-10-25T19:05:39

Muslim moderates must speak out against the “distorted ranting” of extremists who carry out beheadings and suicide bombings, Queen Noor of Jordan said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The queen, the U.S.-born widow of King Hussein, also said the United States should tone down its militaristic approach to the problems of the Middle East, urging a softer approach, including education and cross-cultural programs.

“What I believe are the vast majority of moderate Muslim clerics ... do not at all subscribe to the distorted ranting of these militant extremist groups and abhor the form that their zealotry has taken in terms of beheadings and suicide bombings and the killings of innocents, because these are forbidden in Islam,” Queen Noor said in the interview Sunday evening.

The former Lisa Najeeb Halaby said she was trying to encourage various communities “to try to draw together and empower one another” to speak out against Muslim extremist violence.

“Extremist political movements [are] using the guise of religion to advance their political aims rather than aims consistent with the teachings of Islam,” she said.

“It has been very hard, I think, for many in the Muslim world and the Muslim community and others to feel that they can speak up and speak out against these distortions. They felt very vulnerable and afraid that they might pay a heavy price for that.”

The queen was speaking in Bogota during a visit to Colombia this week for a campaign to ban land mines.

“There are countries like the United States and others who can be focusing a lot more soft power resources on this kind of approach, that I think would have far greater results than the military face that the United States has really [imposed] in the region now for too long,” she said.

Washington should focus more on aiding moderate emerging leaders, she added.

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