A Historical Moment in Time; Elections

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 4 September / Sep 2016. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sun 4 September / Sep 2016. 07:59 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

The debate that was raised on the historical incident told by an independent Islamic candidate in Zarqa broke the elections’ boring routine, unexpectedly, and inflamed a widespread discussion that has drawn religious scholars and historians, the media, as well as a vaster audience of spectators. This was otherwise not possible were it not for the candidate’s efforts to win the hearts of his constituents in Zarqa.

His rivals, typically hopped to discredit the candidate’s story on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) having spent a night in the Sukhneh area, which is part of the Zarqa circuit. A Jordanian historian cut in with a story that flipped the tables around, stating that the “infidel” Otba ibn Abi Lahab is the one who stayed there and died in the Zarqa stream area.

The debate, even though it revolves around a historical event, is in essence purely political and electoral. Talking about a historical even of such would not have ignited such an interest had it not been in the contexts of an electoral campaign wherein the candidate, who proposed the story, is one its circuit’s stronger candidates.

Expectedly, when rivals leaped in to devalidate the story, it was no more than attempt by them to cut the road for the candidate’s attempt to employ the incident in his campaign and attract a wider religious audience, as this kind of talk has always enticed the religious lot to poll by the thousands in favour of a certain colour of candidates.

However, the debate going on now, drawing many interested in the validity of the story, poses many ethical and political questions in regards to elections, campaigning and electorate behaviours.

Is it allowed for candidates to employ religious, sacred symptoms in their campaigns? Moreover, the big disparity here lies in that independent candidates are running with religious symbols at a time when the Muslim Brotherhood has given up on employing this particular method.

The popular interaction and engagement in this also raises a question; how is it possible for a disputed incident, ages ago, to attract such a wide audience into the elections arena, while election agendas addressing their current concerns, to say the least, do not?!

The same question is posed for disputing candidates, over the historical incident; are there no issues and concerns in Zarqa worthy of your time to communicate with constituents, instead of drowning in debate over historical issues that do not fall in your areas of expertise?

So far, the candidate who proposed the Sukhneh story has yet to debunk those who challenged his story. And it is possible that he has in-stored an even bigger surprise for his rivals at the first electoral festival. He may have evidence to back his story, or another story to shun out the first, and reignite the hearts of his audience.

In any way, the point is, that our representative elections, instead of outline a roadmap for our future, to challenge the flood of problems we face on so many levels, draw us back to our faraway past.

Whoever described our Representative elections as a historical even, was right.