King Hamad of Bahrain’s visit to Jordan sends an important message about Bahrain’s stance concerning the multiple crises that face the region.
King Hamad told King Abdulla of Jordan that Bahrain was “proud to provide all the help Jordan needs” to combat terrorism and he stressed Bahrain’s condemnation of the killing by ISIS of the Jordanian pilot.
It is right that Arab states take the lead in addressing the scourge of the “Satanic State” in Syria and Iraq. The reluctance of Western nations to directly confront ISIS with ground troops means that they have surrendered central elements of their strategy to Iran-backed militias inIraq, which has made a bad problem worse.
Key states like Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE need to be coordinating closely in order to guarantee an effective response to the chaos and instability in Syria, Iraq and the region.
Such a coordinated strategy does not just mean combatting ISIS, it also means focusing attention on Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah backers. Likewise, Arab states need to have a clear vision for responding to Iran’s support for Houthis in Yemen and its interference elsewhere in the region.
When ISIS murders innocent hostages for cheap propaganda purposes, they need to know that they are not scaring or intimidating us. The response from the Arab world will be a decisive and united one.
Muath al-Kasasbeh was not just a Jordanian pilot – he was an Arab Muslim – and as a result it was not just Jordan which was outraged by his horrific murder, but the whole Arab world.
The joint message from the Kings of Bahrain and Jordan was that the battle waged against ISIS is to “protect the Islamic faith”. The Satanic State has done terrible damage to the reputation of our beautiful faith. The Arab world is right to demonstrate its readiness to defend Islam by standing up to those who have done so much to harm our religion.