LONDON - Jordan's Queen Rania has branded the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group a "bunch of crazy people" who are staining the name of Islam.
The wife of King Abdullah II urged the international community not to focus on the religious claims of the extremists and said ISIS should drop the 'I' from their name "because there is nothing Islamic about them".
"This fight is a fight between the civilised world and a bunch of crazy people that really want to take us back to mediaeval times," she said in a conversation with media mogul Arianna Huffington at a session of the Future of Work conference in London late Wednesday, organised by the Berggruen Institute and the World Post.
She warned against letting ISIS "hijack" the identity of Islam, arguing that it would allow them to set up a "battle of civilisations".
"People call them ISIS, I would love to drop that first 'I' because there is nothing Islamic about them. They have nothing to do with faith and everything to do with fanaticism," she said.
"They want to be called Islamic because it gives them legitimacy and also it means that any action taken against them would automatically be called a war against Islam.
"They want that clash of civilisation that people talk about," she added.
The 44-year-old queen warned ISIS that their much-publicised displays of violence, such as the burning to death of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, only stiffened the resolve of moderates.
"The scare tactics that these terrorists were using backfired because it just angered Jordanians," she told the Huffington Post founder. "Instead of making them scared, it made them want to fight."
Kassasbeh was captured by ISIS in December after his F-16 crashed in Syria while on a mission for the US-led coalition against the Sunni extremist group.