Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Local terror, the Brothers, and enlightened security

Yesterday, I came across this piece by Suleiman Khalidi about the potential for home-grown terror in Jordan. Have to say, it was a bit unsettling. I'm dying to discuss with him whether he truly thinks it's likely or feasible and wonder what people in Jordan have to say about it. Ok, not to be too self-centered, but I often feel freaked out at being American when in Jordan. Sure, my husband's Jordanian, but it's not like I can announce that to any random person who's got it out for me and he/she'll be, like, "Oh, sorry about that." Margaret Hassan sure didn't get any special favors for being married to an Iraqi, speaking Arabic, etc.

This opinion piece in today's Guardian by Khairat el-Shatir, the vice-president of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, sure makes the Brotherhood look appealing. Check it out for yourself. Here's an excerpt:

What we want to do instead is trigger a renaissance in Egypt, rooted in the religious values upon which Egyptian culture and society is built; for we believe these values can effectively deal with the obstacles that have hindered reform and development. At present, political life in Egypt is plagued by apathy; only a few parties with puny followings are officially allowed to join the political process. The priority is therefore to revitalise political life so that citizens can join a real debate about the solutions to Egypt's chronic problems and the sort of future we want for our country. We believe that the domination of political life by a single political party or group, whether the ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood or any other, is not desirable: the only result of such a monopoly is the alienation of the majority of the people.

And here's a good one from Rami Khouri with suggestions on how and why Jordan can employ democracy to fight terror. A snippet:

Amman is swirling with political emotions, expectations and rumors, as the results of the attacks remain unclear to most people. There is also a widespread sense that things cannot stay the same. Fighting terrorism with the same old methods will work to a large extent, but will not prevent determined criminals from doing their evil deeds. A qualitatively different kind of anti-terror policy is needed, and Jordan is one of the few places in the Arab world that could envisage moving down that path.

I mentioned last week that Jordan, unlike most other Arab states, has a special opportunity to make the sorts of historic, substantive changes in its society that could provide the first successful Arab example of a country that fights terror not only by military, security and intelligence means, but also by mobilizing Jordanians to forge a political culture based on inclusion and accountability that gives the terrorists and extremists no fertile ground in which to operate.

Right on, brother.


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Jad said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Jad said...

I would love to see that, but honestly I can't see how we can employ democracy to fight terror, not just in Jordan, but everywhere.
Terrorists speaks no politics, and it seems they've never broke their promises attack or bombing places, their ideology allows them to kill others and they're flaging innocent of them as 'may god bless them' but we had target.

The only way I can see democracy works in this case is to let Muslims shaikhs speaks freely even if they're against some low-level priority issues, like having pubs, night clubs etc.. let them speak freely against such things, but I'm sure they've the stable mentality to clean dirty minds of terror, or at least help people with ready mentality to terror not to be converted to damn extremists.

my point might not be that clear, it's not even clear to me, that the only thought in mind about employing democracy against terror.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Jad said...

BTW, Welcome to JP.


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