Queen Rania of Jordan zinged the Islamic State (ISIS) on Thursday, calling the terrorist group "a bunch of crazy people," and telling an audience in London, "I would love to drop the first 'I' in ISIS because there's nothing Islamic about them."
The "I" line drew applause from guests at a conference on employment where the wife of Jordan's King Abdullah was giving a talk alongside Internet news mogul Arianna Huffington, The WorldPost reports.
"They have nothing to do with faith and everything to do with fanaticism," said Rania, adding that "ISIS wants to be called Islamic … because any action against them will automatically be called a war against Islam, which is exactly what they want it to be."
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The queen said the rest of the world "would do well to not focus on the religious character of that group because when we do, we give them undeserved legitimacy."
The Islamic State, alternately called ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, arose last summer with lightning military strikes and sadistic videotaped attacks on populations in Iraq and Syria, and announced itself as a religiously pure Sunni state, or caliphate, that would engulf the Middle East.
Rania's husband, the king, has emerged as one of ISIS' most vocal opponents since February, when the terrorist group burned alive
a Jordanian air force pilot who had been shot down and captured during an air raid against ISIS targets.
Where Abdullah has framed the conflict in military terms, saying that World War III is underway
and that ISIS is the primary enemy, Rania on Thursday talked about the cultural challenge.
"We can't let [ISIS] hijack our identity and brand us in the way that they want," Rania said of Muslims worldwide. "We have to write our own narrative."
She said the combatants are "the civilized world" versus "a bunch of crazy people who want to take us back to medieval times," Al-Arabiya reports.
"Once we see it that way," she said, "we realize that this is about all of us coming together to defend our way of life."
Rania also took a page from the Obama State Department playbook, arguing that military might alone won't vanquish the likes of ISIS.
"At the heart of this war is ideology, and you cannot kill an ideology with a bullet," she said. "You can only kill it with a better idea."
Despite the forum — the WorldPost Future of Work Conference — Rania mostly avoided the better-employment opportunities solution recently floated by a State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf,
whose proposal was roundly mocked with the Twitter hashtag #JobsForISIS.
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Rania said instead that the extremism practiced by ISIS and its ilk is comprised of a kind of socioeconomic pyramid including but not limited to the impoverished and unemployed.
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