We still have a long way to go, but Islam should not be used as a scapegoat. The obstacles that face women today are more cultural. It's not about the religion.
Islam neither requires one to be practising, nor to dress in one way or another. So imposing the veil on a woman is contrary to the principles of Islam. … Unfortunately, after all the suspicion weighing on Islam, many people have begun to consider the veil as a political problem, but this is not the case … Wearing the veil is a free personal choice.
Many people are frustrated in the Arab world. Many give in to the anger because they are accused of violence. But instead we should get up, explain who we are and what we believe in. … Over the last three years, most victims of terrorism have been Muslim. So there’s not a war between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between extremists and moderates of all the religions. … What is important is not to live in fear. The most dangerous [thing to do] is to give up and lose hope. The main enemy is not terrorism or extremism, but ignorance.
Interview with Corriere della Sera, as quoted in "Muslim women don't have to wear veils: Rania" in Khaleej Times (9 February 2007)
When someone turns to me and addresses me as 'our Queen', that word means a lot to me because it makes me feel that they know my life is theirs. My joy is their joy. My worries are their worries. If the word 'queen' means something to me, 'our queen' means everything to me.
I think that mind-sets are changing in the Middle East. Poll after poll is showing that men see the value of greater female participation and empowerment. We still have a long way to go, but Islam should not be used as a scapegoat. The obstacles that face women today are more cultural. It's not about the religion.
To achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East takes guts, not guns.
I believe in microfinance because it isn't just a path out of poverty. It's the road to self-reliance. By allowing people to team up and literally become their own bank, you can mobilize people and resources and alleviate poverty on the global scale.