“Jihadist” violence. Fascist violence. No difference.

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The Jordanian state, media and large part of public opinion are loudly condemning the violence that happened in Zarqa last Friday.

Of course, many people are extra nervous because the people who demonstrated in Zarqa belong to an ultra-fundamentalist group. Some call them Salafists. Some call them Takfirists or Jihadists. Whatever. These are scary guys with long beards, some with army camouflage jackets, who have no problem chanting for Zarqawi and Bin Laden.

Unless you’ve been burying your head in the sand for the past few years, we all knew that such groups live among us. Not all Salafists are pro terrorists or violent, of course. But the photos published on news sites of some men wielding swords, knifes and sticks are scary indeed.

But here is the thing..

The bearded, sword yielding Salafists are not more scary or more dangerous that their jeans-wearing Fascists counterparts who have literally terrorised the peaceful demonstrators of the Interior Ministry Circle on March 25 or waved guns and swords out of their cars on the streets of Amman.

Stabbing policemen is just as a bad as throwing concrete blocks from a high building on citizens on the street.

Shouting pro Zarqawi slogans is as bad as verbally abusing demonstrators.

Violence is violence and abuse is abuse. Whether the perpetrators are carrying Jordanian flags or fundamentalist slogans makes no difference.

We should not become hypocrites with double standards.

We’re seeing super strong statement from the security forces about what happened in Zarqa and arrests of dozens of Salafists Jihadists.

Yes, we heard some condemnations of previous thuggery coming from our political leadership. But where are the mass arrests of the thugs of March 25?

The state should not flex its muscles selectively.

This is the whole point of reform: The unified application of the rule of law without the bias of kinship or political allegiance.

Is what happened in Zarqa scary and worthy of condemnation. Yes. But so is every act of violence in the street.


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11 Responses to ““Jihadist” violence. Fascist violence. No difference.”

  1. Emi Says:

    I agree with everything you have said here except for one point:

    “Stabbing policemen is just as a bad as throwing concrete blocks from a high building on citizens on the street.”

    Of course, hurting anyone is a terrible thing. But coming to a demonstration armed for violence is a bit different than searching for any available material when a demonstration takes a turn for the worse.

  2. Musa Says:

    Thank you Ahmad. It is ridiculous that state media keeps referring to “swords” when it comes to the Zarqa incident when not only did they ignore the sword-wielding stone-throwing thugs that roamed the streets in the wake of “liberating” the dakhlyyeh square, but present them as simply people with a different opinion. Apply the law on everyone, stop all kinds of thuggery and no one will dare to question the police motives or official recollection of events. If we want to emphasize the “state of safety and tranquility” the police need to protect all of its citizens.

  3. kinzi Says:

    Waving swords is one thing. Using them, or barbed wire, on a fellow Jordanians is a different story. Whether on police or demonstrators. This is a very scary development, it’s like seeing elements of Afghanistan a little too close to home. I can see one summer tour group cancelling already.

  4. Hala Ghattas Says:

    Jihadists Takfiris and NOT Safafists, we should differentiate in order not to tar the whole Salafists movement with violence.
    These are violent factions who attribute themselves to the ‘name salafi’ but they are not

  5. Priapus_D Says:

    The insistence on on making one side that you like look like an angel while making all other different groups mentioned (Police, Salafis, and anti-demonstrations individuals) look like daemons is amusing!
    I also hope that use the term extremists instead of Salafis when talking about those criminals, it is a bit disgusting to paint a negative image on a group of people just because they practice religion in a certain way. After all you are liberal as I do presume!
    The atmosphere of self righteousness is also kind of fascism by the way.
    Provoking and agitating people is as bad as committing violence.
    Anyway, you can not work to get anarchy and chaos and don’t expect violence to actually occur. The road to Zaraqa my friend did pass through the Dakhlieh Circle.

  6. Musa Says:

    Kinzi,
    They are exactly the same. The only difference is that the people on Dakhlyyeh square applied extreme restraint and refused to respond to attacks of sword-waving rock-throwing thugs who were trying to harm their fellow Jordanians, where at Zarqa Salafi demonstrators (who by the way include a good number of ex-convicts who found god) responded when attacked. Thuggery is thuggery. Period.
    And please save us the “tourism” bit. Forget about the tourist buses and its minute contribution to the economy, and think about the Jordanian citizens who are considering “canceling” their stay in their own country where police is siding with thugs to attack anyone who asks for a change in the status quo.

  7. Mamoun Al Jamal Says:

    my friend,
    i wannabe more oriented and i’ll think about:
    1- policemen protecting thugs (what u called fascist)
    2- policemen chanting with the thugs directly after 25-march assault
    3- no governmental investigation condemn any of the policemen, their leaders or even thugs.
    4- GID had released 4 of the salafist leaders 10 days before what has happened in Zarqa.
    5- al Majali recognized that he knows the salafist preparations and that they will be equipped with swards, knifes and batons. but he had sent normal group like the one we see in football matches.
    its not double standards in anyhow, its a plan.

  8. 7iber Dot Com » ????? ?????? ???: ????? ????????? ????? Says:

    [...] ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ?????? ??????” ????? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ?? ??????? [...]

  9. /The Poor Arab News Service Says:

    “This is one of the Salafites who joined a Salafite protest in Zarqa’ in Jordan. Do you have doubt that this gang is run by Jordanian mukhabarat? Do you think if they were Arab nationalists or leftists they would have dared to brandish daggers like that in public view?”

  10. kinzi Says:

    Ahmad, sorry to bring up tourism at a tough time, it was tacky of me. Of course I am more concerned about Jo folk on the ground. Especially those who are considering leaving. I am worried.

    I just happened to be answering a bunch of emails from people coming, interns and tourists, so it is not completely unrelated. Something like this happens, I immediately have an inbox full of inquiry. This is after assuring people that Jordan doesn’t have such problems or at least they are under control. Not to mention our family, who think we have a serious case of frog-in-the-kettle syndrome.

  11. Amjad Says:

    To those who think that this is scary, Salafis represent a very small minority in jordan and will always be like that because, put simply, they are a bunch of backward idiots. whether salafis or jihadist takfiris, they are both the same to me, they are idiots and id like to see them disappear. hopefully the incident on 15th of april will give the government the chance to crush them like bugs. I just have zero tolerance for stupidity. I genuinely would like to see them all locked up for life, or better…

    I don’t have anything against stupidity per se, it’s just when people try to validate it using religion that it really pisses me off. I mean anyone who tries to blame salafis violence on the previous pro-reform protests is obviously lacking any sense of rationality. although at least they are not using religion as a tool to advertise their irrational arguments, hence people can easily debunk them. on the other hand it would be hard to change or even argue against people’s beliefs and thoughts if they were based on religious beliefs.

    I couldn’t care less whether all salafis are violent or not. I have no interest in protecting the ideologies of the less violent salafis, which i doubt they exist by the way. I’d happily take this opportunity to tarnish their reputation. we’ve all heard about them in Egypt and what they are calling for. to me salafis = al qaeda.

    PS: I always keep in mind that the majority of humans are lying, robbing animals who would do anything to protect their self-interest. This is, in my opinion, directly proportional to the power a man possesses. go figure!

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