Rest in Peace: Shadi Abu Jaber

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Sun 31 July / Jul 2016. 11:00 PM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Instead of engaging issues affecting our mundane lives, and they are many; political, social, and economic, and instead addressing feasible topics, we discuss and theorise on issues out of mind, 1400 years ago! This is really shameful.

We spent days and nights, recently, “debating” over whether or not it is allowed for us to bid of the All Mighty forgiveness for the soul of the late youth, Shadi Abu Jaber, who had passed in a car accident. And I am ashamed of the fact that we are actually discussing this, on the basis of him being a Christian Jordanian.

On account of his death, a war inflamed the social media, more or less, on whether we are permitting to bid mercy on our own. More so, that this confliction is not over a futuristic or fundamental issue of ground concern, but over a Fatwa, that is least to be said is; “stupid”, that some tossed into the fire to ignite a nihilistic, endless, pointless debate.

This lot tainted with sectarianism cursed Shadi, the guitarist, with the worst words they could muster; exposing their deformed sense of humanity, which alternatively could have ignited a sense of loss over our homeland losing a young promising youth. Instead they got busy discussing whether or not bidding mercy for his young soul is allowed. And of course, many failed to question themselves, in light of this tragic misfortune; where did all this backwardness come from? How did all this hatred and bigotry brew so right behind our backs? Where was all this despicable sentiment hidden? So low it stooped to condemn a youngling who’s not yet finished his 17th year in this world, impassioned with music and love for life!!

How hideous and heartless we are! All this scorn for one another! While his family mourn for him, instead of finding comfort in our consolidation to ease whatever little pain possible, they see all this hate explode before their sight, breathed into our community by ill-minded and sick people, surely, who certainly do not represent our society!

Through it all, with hope placed well in Shadi’s own; his family’s response, the sound of logic and reason, came swift, loud, and clear, and muffled the voices of the bigoted ignorant seeking to weave hate among their own people. This lot of people in reality is not much different in essence from ISIS and ilk, who took Azidi women by force and sold them into slavery, murdering and killing on identity!

The debate expanded and broiled so much that the Department of Iftaa came out to reaffirm the ever so insured! That we cannot deliberate in issues that threat the unity of the Jordanian people, and the harmony we have enjoyed for so long! Especially issues that ignite conflict among citizens of the one people.

In regards to mercy bids on the souls of non-Muslims, the general Mufti for Jordan, Sheikh Abdul Karim Khasawneh, stated that it is allowed for Muslims to condole non-Muslims, as well as receive condolences from them. That is next to the already common sense of sharing our joys and misfortunes, all of us.

Why do we go back to question the basics of social harmony?! The givens of our society! Above all this awe and shock, we ask, once more: how did this darkness spill into the culture of our own communities? How did the youth, some of whom have never read a single book, become authorities on religion? How dare they permit and prohibit?

And on the source of this poisonous sectarianism, which by the way is new to us, many questions burst into our minds: to what extent did events in the region contribute to the brewing of such thoughts? How much of it was contributed by schools and mosques? And what correlation lies between curriculum, their contents, and this disparity? Does that have to do with the absence of cultural and though channels in parties, universities, and organisations of the Civil Society?

Shadi Abu Jaber has left us; the young, impassioned, polite and gentle youth, as his friends describe them. But upon his departure, he left behind a bundle of critical and sensitive questions that require much work on our parts to address, before this pandemic gets the best of us!

Rest in Peace, Shadi Abu Jaber, and my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.