What Arabiyat Did not say…

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 28 December / Dec 2016. 11:05 PM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Featuring the last few episodes of “Siyasi Yatathakar” (Arabic for “A Politician Recalls”), a series launched by colleague Mohammad Kheir Rawashdeh some years ago, Dr Abdullatif Arabiyat’s testimonial on his experience with the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as an independent political figure, was —sadly— more or less abrupt; it was partial.

Dr Arabiyat chose not to share his position on the pivoting developments that damaged the organisation over the recent years.

Over the duration of 26 days, “Al Ghad” hosted the prominent Islamist leader, featuring day after day the conclusions of his political expertise throughout the long years of his life, hoping his testimony would constitute a referential document, contributing to the historical documentation of unrecorded intervals of this Country’s history.

Typically, Dr Arabiyat outspokenly expressed his opinion on all societal and official institutions; all but his own Brotherhood! Suddenly, his rhetoric became evasive, somewhat, and therefore biased and non-objective.

Dr Arabiyat was partial to making the Brotherhood look good, despite of the movement’s many near fatal mistakes, which caused major transformations within, due to internal disputes and splintering. Still, Arabiyat saw it better to withhold parts of the story, perhaps, and lighten this phase in the Brotherhood’s recent history out.

His choice to not answer Al Ghad’s inquiries into the historic transitions underway within the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Action Front (IAF) in Jordan weakened the vanguard’s testimonial; he omitted parts of his story zealously anticipated by the series’ audience. That is besides our own effort as a newspaper to document audible testimonies on Jordan’s political history, which may actually address questions raised on some of the most crucial phases of this Country’s journey.

Parts left out of Arabiyat’s testimony include his stance on the coup among the leaderships of the Islamist movement since the elections of 2007.

The turn within the movement effectively excluded the moderate Islamist current within the Brotherhood, including Arabiyat himself, who was excluded from the IAF’s Secretary General elections, as well as Salem Falahat, who finally brought to us, in his new two-part book, a testimony that varies gravely from Arabiyat’s evaluation of the movement’s discourse.

The Doctor avoided addressing the advancement of the extremists who deepened the crises of the movement. Particularly in regards to the Brotherhood’s relationship with the State; they repeatedly provoked the official institution, and on several occasions, grandest of them were during the Brotherhood’s post “Arab Spring” ecstatic wait for the ripples of Arab revolts to stir the Jordanian populace, so that they may lead the street, being the most effectively organised political power, and the most influential, due to their strong religious rhetoric, which gasps the hearts and feels of their audiences.  

The very concept and idea of the “Arab Spring” was just one of the topics Arabiyat preferred to not discuss, nor convey his evaluation on the movement’s conviction in its readiness to head the government, being —once more— the most organised political current in the streets.

In the same discourse, he also manoeuvred around addressing one of the movement’s leader’s own comments under the dome, openly elaborating on the Brotherhood’s intentions to preside government, after Hamas won the legislative Palestinian elections in 2006.

Another preference of his was not to go into the Jordanian Brotherhood’s proximity to their global leadership in Egypt, after the movement there arrived to power in the aftermath of the January Revolt of 2011.

Hanging as well, is his taking on whether or not the fading of the “Jordanian Spring” —be it for objective reasons, or due to the official institution’s inability to absorb and contain it via gradual reforms— was the reason why the Brotherhood were denied the chance to take matters into their own hands.

He also did not address the Brotherhood’s retreat when it most counted; in both the 2010 and 2013 elections. Had they participated back then, they would have had a positive influence in the progress of gradual reformation.

All of it, should have been addressed by the prominent Islamist leader and mentor; his position should have been stated, openly, whatever it may be.

In the end, Arabiyat thought to withhold from evaluating the reality of the Brotherhood, in all its splintering, divisions, and scattering, and the damage it all did to the movement, for reasons we do not now here at “Al Ghad”.

Perhaps he did not want to hurt his relationships to other leaders of the movement; he would rather miss the golden chance to contribute his whole story to the trail of Jordan’s history.

I’d hate to say it, but Dr Arabiyat used “Al Ghad” to say only what he wanted to say, despite of our prior agreement.