The Islamic State group has issued a series of ghastly videos showing the beheading of British and American captives. The most recent video, released on February 3rd, was the first one to depict a prisoner being burned alive. While many world leaders have been challenged to respond to the shocking depth of the Islamic State’s depravity, the one most directly impacted is King Abdullah II of Jordan, because the most recent victim of these atrocities was Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh.
After meeting with President Obama, Abdullah interrupted his visit to the United States to televise a statement to the nation of Jordan, in which he declared that the killing was a cowardly act of terror by a criminal group that has no relation to Islam. Even Muslim clerics were quick to characterize the atrocity as despicable by Islamic standards. Similarly, President Obama has consistently resisted any inclination to label the IS savageries as the work of Islamic extremists. “Whatever ideology they’re operating off of,” he said, “It’s bankrupt.” Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who had also spoken with King Abdullah, commented that other Muslim leaders need to “isolate the strain of ideology that is so barbaric.”
Jordan promised an “earth-shaking response” to the killing of its pilot, and began the day after the release of the video by hanging two Iraqi jihadists who had already been sentenced to death. King Abdullah II is a former general and special forces commander who gives every evidence that he is determined to crush the IS group. The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State will probably welcome any of Abdullah’s ground-based military initiatives, because “boots on the ground” will assist the coalition in locating hostages.
As crowds gathered in Amman, Jordan to demand revenge, it made a striking contrast to Abdullah’s long history of interfaith peace initiatives. King Abdullah II has been seen by many as the man who could bring peace to the Middle East. His wife is a Palestinian, and he has studied in England and the United States. Jordan is one of the few Muslim-majority Arab nations that recognize Israel, and, in this time of unprecedented upheaval, Abdullah is respected by both the Israelis and Palestinians.
Also, the official website of King Abdullah II details his long history of supporting interfaith peace proposals, such as the “A Common Word” initiative, which is designed to bring Christians and Muslims together on a continuing basis. In addition, he introduced “World Interfaith Harmony Week,” which was unanimously endorsed by the U.N. General Assembly. Abdullah has been consistently perceived as a proponent of dialogue and reconciliation, maintaining that the teachings of Islam prohibit violence against Christians and other religious groups. He believes that the international community should work toward a “consensus-driven political solution” to the situation in Syria and Iraq.
Jordan is a key Western ally and is seen as a source of moderation in an unstable region. Nevertheless, many people of Western nations continue to perceive Islam as a brutal and violent system. If you had to guess the religion of a suicide bomber when you hear about it, which religion would you guess?
Like King Abdullah II, the Antichrist will also come on a political platform of peace and safety. The Antichrist will come in peaceably and deceive many.
“…and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many…” –Daniel 8:25.
The Antichrist will have an irresistible personality, but will fearlessly and ruthlessly push all of the world’s leaders out of the way to establish his own supreme dictatorship. And, he is just around the corner.
By Rick Brinegar