King of Jordan: ‘Maybe there’s a lack of understanding of Islam’ in Washington

King Abdullah II of Jordan in a new interview said he believes Islam is not fully understood within both the halls of Congress and the walls of the White House when asked about President TrumpDonald John TrumpCEO of American investment firm believed Michael Cohen could bring in GOP donors for deals: report NAACP slams NFL for gag rule on national anthem Pelosi: Republican meeting over informant will 'nix' possibility of bipartisan briefing MORE's rhetoric about the religion.  

"Whether I'm in Washington in the Congress or with the administration, I think maybe there's a lack of understanding of Islam," the Jordanian leader said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s "Fareed Zakaria GPS.” 

The king defended the religion, saying the foundations of Islam are the same moral virtues seen in other religions such as Christianity and Judaism. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"It is not a religion of hate. We as Muslims believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. We believe in the Holy Virgin Mother. We believe in the Bible and the Torah, and I think this is the way that all of us were brought up," he told Zakaria.

"When we all greet each other as Arabs and Muslims, we say, 'As-salamu alaykum' — peace be unto you," he added, describing the frequently uttered phrase as "the basis of Islam."

The leader acknowledged that "fringe groups" and civil wars have created a series of problems and challenges, but he suggested that most Muslims are fighting against the extremists alongside other religions.

"This is a civil war between all of us, and those that, not only consider us heretics, but consider Christians, Jews and other religions all heretics, and should be put to the sword," he said, describing it as a "fight inside of Islam."

"The problem that we have now, and maybe the lack of understanding, is that it is — it's us Muslims working side by side with Christians, Jews and other religions to fight this scourge, which is still going to be a long-term problem," he continued.

The king said such efforts could be undermined across the globe if the Muslim population feels "victimized and isolated," because that would create "a breeding ground of contempt."

"We all want a better future for our children and their children. For them to feel isolated, that's the danger. And the rhetoric that moves in that direction is not a good story for any of us," he said.

His remarks come after Trump has repeatedly described Islam and the interests of the U.S. as being against one another, claiming on the campaign trail that Islam "hates" the United States.