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Monday, June 19, 2006

King blasts Jordan Islamists over Zarqawi

AMMAN, Jordan, June 19 (UPI) -- Jordan's King Abdullah lashed out at his country's Muslim Brotherhood Organization, stressing that there can be no tolerance for supporters of terrorism.

Abdullah called four Islamist legislators who offered condolences to the family of the slain chief of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as "misleading and deceptive," and called on the Muslim Brotherhood to reconsider its relations with the regime and the people.

Speaking in an interview with German's Der Spiegel, Abdullah said "I believe the big majority in the Islamist movement in Jordan are moderate and peace lovers.

"The ongoing argument in our society is that the people should agree that there should be no tolerance of terrorism and that the meaning of terrorism should be defined," he said.

Jordanian authorities arrested the four Islamist legislators and referred them to trial on charges of stirring sectarian divisions and undermining national unity.

The Islamist movement, represented by the Muslim Brotherhood and their political arm, the Islamic Action Front, refused to apologize for the legislators' visit to the family of Zarqawi, who was described by some as a martyr.

Abdullah affirmed that Jordan's intelligence had played a role in locating Zarqawi in a hideout east of Baghdad where he was killed in a U.S. raid on June 7.

Abdullah said that with Zarqawi's death a chapter has been closed but terrorism and extremism are expected to continue under Zarqawi's successor.

The Islamic movement in Jordan has traditionally maintained cordial and close relations with the regime by sticking to the grey area and holding on to moderate stances that do not alienate or provoke the regime.

Abdullah urged the Muslim Brotherhood to reconsider their present stance, stressing "I don't believe people who incite or support terrorism should be tolerated in any way. This approach is not limited to Jordan but covers the international community... People who support and encourage terrorism stand on the opposite side and nor on ours."
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