Abdullah IIName: King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Birth: January 30, 1962 in Amman, Jordan.

Claim to Fame: Successor to King Hussein, for whom the Jordanian constitution had to be amended to permit the ascension of a man whose mother was not an Arab Muslim, but an Ipswich typist; supposed 43rd-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad; and, an extra on Star Trek: Voyager.

Power Base: The old guard among the tribes of the East Bank (Transjordanians) who occupy important positions within the Jordanian security forces and the public sector, and who hold a tight grip on the majority of the Jordanian parliament through gerrymandering.

Google Hits: 84,800 hits for “abdullah ii antichrist” on September 21, 2006

Merits: Here in the West, we patronizingly tend to think of little King Abdullah as one of the good Arabs. Educated in the U.S. and at Oxford, he is charming, witty, has a blazingly hot young wife, and is frequently seen wearing European suits at the center of progressive global initiatives involving ecumenism, economic development and peace.

Russell at Jesus-is-the-Way.com makes the case for Abdullah’s candidacy with the following evidence:

  • The Bible says that the Antichrist will be from Assyria (Isaiah 10:12, 14:25), which in its heyday included the lands now under the control of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Jordan’s people, incidentally, are genetically close to the Assyrians, according to a study by Stanford’s L.L. Cavalli-Sforza);
  • The “ten kings” in the Book of Revelations refer not to the nations of the European Union, but to a confederation of Middle Eastern sub-nations united in their desire to destroy Israel (in accordance with Psalms 83:1-5), many of which are now united under the umbrella of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan;
  • Abdullah’s British mother, Antoinette Gardiner, provides him with “Roman ancestry,” thus giving him the credentials for establishing a “Revived Roman Empire”;
  • As a so-called direct descendant of Muhammad, Abdullah is “looked upon by moderate Muslims as the al-Mahdi, the eschatological saviour to Islam” – a handy conflation of the Christian tradition of the antichrist with the Muslim tradition of the Mahdi;
  • In 1965, psychic Jeanne Dixon predicted a “child born somewhere in the Middle East on February 5, 1962 will revolutionize the world… and bring together all mankind in one all-embracing faith… a new Christianity… every sect and creed united through this man,” a description of an antichrist if ever an apocalyptic Christian has heard one. (NOTE: Although this prediction is often invoked to argue for the candidacy of actress Jennifer Jason Leigh as the Antichrist (she’s pretty creepy, I’ll give you that), astrologers cite the period around that date as “a very significant astrological event: a close grouping of seven planets in the sign of Aquarius, grouped within 17 degrees, at the same time as a solar eclipse.” And as astrologers like to say, it is appropriate to watch events unfold within a few days on either side of a solar eclipse to measure its effect – thus giving Abdullah’s birthdate of January 30, 1962 a possible identification with Dixon’s prediction. I’m just sayin’ . . .)
  • The fact that the Vatican announced a revision in the words of exorcism (eliminating references to a “Prince of Darkness” in favor of formulas referring to “causes of evil”) on the same day that Abdullah was named as his father’s successor (January 25, 1999);
  • The fact that Abdullah seems to be playing a role of increasing importance to the Middle East peace process, and in fact has been suggested as a possible new ruler for Iraq, post-Saddam Hussein.

Quay Fortuna’s Analysis: This Antichrist candidacy has a certain appeal to those who would choose to find an Antichrist in the Muslim world — though, judging by the search terms that bring many readers to my site, most anti-Muslim readers hope that the Antichrist would turn out to be someone much less loveable, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hassan Nasrallah, or Osama bin Laden. The fact that people in the West seem to see Abdullah in a positive light, such as a 2003 Travel Channel program which portrayed him as

… a “man for all seasons” … flying a helicopter, appearing in grand style in military situations, touring Petra (after taking a camel ride through the desert), riding a boat on the beautiful Gulf of Aqaba, meeting the Bedouin desert people (showing his common touch), amply demonstrating his charm/wit and Western education and command of English, making a rigorous climb of a mountain to a shrine for ” prophets ” of various religions

means to me that he is a much more solid candidate. Those other guys? Punks.

Viewing the question strictly through the smudged lenses of apocalyptic Christians, the credibility of King Abdullah as a candidate depends upon which part of the world will ultimately do the most to screw up Israel – the European Union, or moderates in the Middle East. According to the hard-line die-hards, it could truly go either way.