“Candle Light Vigil in Amman” by Isam Bayazidi
Amongst anger, grief, the detaining of the female accomplice, demonstrations all around the world, new claims released by Al-Qaeda, the week after the bombings has been very busy for the Jordanian bloggers.
Many are contemplating the event and trying to analyze the various aspects of the unfortunate event. Hala of CafeLulu poses a very interesting point in regards to how Jordan should react, “I think that we need to fight smart, and strategize, instead of falling prety to the kinds of changes to our society that have changed the face of the United States internally after 9/11.” Issam Smeir says, “Personally, I believe that Religion, Politics and Democracy just do not mix.” Naseem Tarawneh analyzes the latest polls done in Jordan and which shows that the majority of Jordanians see Al-Qaeda as terrorists.
Ahmad Humeid highlights the analysis done by his friend Mazen, “The rhetoric of Al-Qaeda is to glorify sacrifice above all. It is an emotional appeal to demonstrate commitment without really offering an ideology of what they are really sacrificing for. What is so great about the wife of one of the suicide bombers following her husband? Presumably this is a selling point? The rhetoric of martyrdom is revolting whoever says it, whichever culture extols it. The notion that something is more sacred than life is extremely dangerous, and frankly demeaning to our peoples.”
As for the latest speech released by Al-Zarqawi, Oleander has an excellent analysis, “Reading into the latest ridiculous Al Zarqwi's audio recording Al-Zarqawi Threatens to Kill Jordan's King and Zarqawi: Amman bombs weren't aimed at Muslims, makes me wonder how stupid this “organization” really is? Did they actually expect the Jordanian reaction to be any different?” Naseem Tarawaneh meanwhile says, ” I don’t believe its a matter of Zarqawi becoming desperate, it’s a matter of suprise at such an angry and vocal reaction from the people he perhaps thought he knew so well, maybe even depended on to stage a revolt of sorts in the midst of the chaos.” Yazan Malakha provides some comic relief, criticizing the tape as witless and illogical.
Need for Reform
A lot of the Jordaian bloggers are stressing that this incident signals a need for an internal change in Jordan. Rami Abdul Rahman says that Jordan needs to get things straight, “How about giving journalists a true freedom of the press, and allow them to dig into all the corruption we have, instead of corrupting them?” Hareega ponders why Jordan was act, saying, “We were attacked because al-Qaeda got access to Jordanians through their minds… We didn't learn lessons from the events around us, and that was a problem because you can't live long enough to learn from your own mistakes.” Isam Bayazidi agrees, “Fixing the situation won’t be through more strict border checks, and hotel door security, but I think that it should be as strong and radical as those movements. The nests that grow those people, and brainwash them is here(local), and this is where we should look, and target.”
Naseem Tarawneh thinks that “There need to be greater civil liberties in Jordan and hopefully the “upside” of this tragedy will be accelerating social reforms to better the lives of everyday citizens.“
Lina Ejeilat, a student in Jordan University, is particularly concerned about the lack of political awareness in the Jordanian youth, “I'm so afraid that in a couple of weeks many people will just fall back into their apathetic attitudes! Yet we as youth in a country like Jordan cannot afford to be apathetic towards politics and ignorant about what goes on, we cannot afford to be reactive!” She also reports from the protests that took place in Jordan University, and referring to the thousands of students that attended the protests she says, “Imagine these thousands representing right-wingers, centrists, or leftists… socialists and capitalists, conservatives, liberals, or neo-liberals!” Lina also points to candle light vigils organized by MERYAN, the Middle East Regional Youth Action Network, that took place simultaneously in Baghdad, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Gaza, Beirut, Belfast, and of course, Amman. May this be the beginning of a more politically active Arab youth.
Signs of reform already here?
Natasha Tynes says, “Jordan announced the resignations of 11 top officials, including the national security adviser, in the wake of the Jordan bombings. Jordanian official says the decision has nothing to do with the terroirst attacks that occured in Jordan on Wednesday.”
Khalaf analyzes this action and the whole resignation saying, “My analysis is that Khair's removal has more to do with his lack of achievement rather than being scapegoated for the hotel bombings, which I think most people would conclude
Natasha Tynes reports about the Economist magazine's “Index of Political Freedom”, saying “Jordan ranks 8 out of 20 in predictions of where and how democracy will spread in the Middle East and Africa next year…. I think, for Jordan, this is not that bad.” Ahmad Humeid says that Al-Rai, Jordan’s biggest selling daily (partially government owned), has announced that it will start publishing a ‘Reform and Enlightenment’ weekly supplement as a contribution to “achieve a clarity of vision against the various forms of extremism and bigotry”.
Anger is also rising about irresponsible journalism in covering the incident. Jameed says in regards to the many news reports about the new proposed anti-terror laws in Jordan, “Journalists! Read before you report!” Natasha Tynes, a reporter herself, refers to news portal Albawaba‘s insistance on calling insurgents in Iraq “resistance fighters” as “Unbelievable!”