Is Jordan Speeding Toward Anarchy? (STONEGATE INSTITUTE) by Abdel Jabbar Rawashdeh 02/23/12)
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A growing number of Jordanians believe king´s measures are "cosmetic"
steps designed to contain public outrage and discontent.
The enemies of reform and transparency in the King Abdullah´s
Hashemite Kingdom have begun targeting women who dare to speak out
against dictatorship and corruption.
Some Jordanians claim that the enemies belong to the the notorious
and much-feared General Intelligence Department. They note that in
several cases over the past few months, security agents posing as
street thugs have attacked pro-democracy activists in various parts
of the kingdom.
Other Jordanians have expressed fear that their country could be
descending toward anarchy and lawlessness as a result of growing
street protests and violence. "The Arab Spring seems to knocking on
Jordan´s doors," remarked a Jordanian newspaper
editor. "Unfortunately, the king and the government are continuing to
bury their heads in the sand."
Earlier this week, a masked man stabbed and moderately wounded Inas
Msallam, a Jordanian university stunted and blogger who had played a
vital role in anti-government protests in the kingdom over the past
Msallam, a fourth-year student at Jordan University, was attacked
shortly after she criticized the monarch´s uncle, Prince Hassan bin
The prince enraged many Jordanians after he had raised doubts as to
whether those who are demanding reforms and democracy really
represent a majority of Jordanians.
Msallam wrote on her blog: "All those who watched the interview with
Prince Hassan have condemned his statements. Those who once thought
that he was the right man in the right place have now reconsidered
The victim´s mother, Noor Turkumani, said her daughter was targeted
by "terrorists" and "thugs."
The mother added that her daughter had received death threats by
phone because of her involvement in anti-government demonstrations
and defense of student´s rights on campus.
Although Jordanian security forces and government officials have
strongly denounced the stabbing of the young woman, some Jordanians
hold the authorities responsible.
These Jordanians point out this was not the first attack on its kind
against anti-government protesters.
Earlier this month, another prominent Jordanian woman, Toujan Faisal,
received death threats after she called for reforms and an end to
corruption in the kingdom. When she was invited to speak at a seminar
on reforms a few weeks ago, Faisal was assigned several bodyguards
from Jordan´s General Intelligence Department, which also provided
her with a police vehicle to ensure her safety.
Faisal, who was the first female member of the Jordanian parliament,
was held in custody for 15 days in 2002 after she sent a letter to
the late King Hussein demanding reforms and transparency.
Although King Abdullah has taken a number of measures to fight
corruption, many Jordanians feel that the kingdom still has a long
way to go before it implements real reforms and democracy. Even
worse, there is a growing number of Jordanians who believe that the
king´s measures are "cosmetic" steps that are designed to contain
public outrage and discontent.
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