They are all Salafists

تم نشره في Sun 16 February / Feb 2014. 04:01 PM - آخر تعديل في Sun 16 February / Feb 2014. 04:02 PM

By Fahed Khitan

The Jordanian elite failed again to manage a serious conversation about the challenges facing the country. The accusative, isolationist mentality is still dominant, as if we’re still in the 1950s and 1960s. Same rhetoric, one accuses the other of treason — on the street, at the parliament, in the media — we only hear yelling and curses.

The opposition’s statements and the loyalty rhetoric, both came from the same molded; slander, accusations, and obstinacy, let alone the tough language used to face the challenges of the next phase. Activists from the hirak attacked last Friday the Sykes–Picot Agreement as if it was signed yesterday! A notable parliamentarian got excited during an escalating speech and adopted a call to cut the thieves hand — imagine the scene after years of implementing that punishment.

Panic over identity has turned into an unhealthy hysteria. As the identity fever, if such exist, gets strong, people blabber.

Trust is almost gone; the elite do not trust the state, the opposition does not trust the officials, the deputies do not trust the cabinet, and the ministers sometimes mistrust the government, too!

The way the government is ruling the country does not help us overcome this stage. Its behavior shows it believes it is superior to its national partners and the decisions that could be passed regularly it is passing in a manner that makes one doubt it.

The parliament is fractured and the deputies are always tense; I have not seen a deputy under the dope who does not end his comment in high pitch. The senators are watching, less vital than before, and more likely to complacent with the government.

The state of the parties and the opposition movement is lamentable; desperate and tradition rhetoric that merely reminisces — no new ideas at all, and no initiatives to steer them.

The public is not much better, and their comments and responses are tense, and doubtful; how easy is it for one of them to accuse you of disloyalty for opposing the mainstream. Media outlets are not easing the tension, and some of them have turned into a battle ground for politicians and others are entrenched at the expense of professionalism and objectivity. The government’s media, however, is as is; lost and confused.

For months our disagreements were about outside issues: Sharply divided about the situation in Syria, and polarization about developments in Egypt. Recently, domestic issues took precedence over to foreign concerns. In other words, external issues have turned into internal concerns. The intensification of the Syrian crisis and its duration contributed to deepening the domestic differences, and now the Kerry plan for peace in the region came to awaken sleeping obsessions.

The most dangerous thing in our case is the hostile spirit that rears its head amid the general scene; we are not only rejecting the other point of view, but also ready to demonize and criminalize those who have them. What else is left but to liquidate them?

The state does not realize the magnitude of the deep transformations on the society, whether the public or the elite. Extremism is no longer the title of a particular Salafist political movement, but became a general approach. Our elite; loyal or opposition became Salafists in their position on the values of democracy and freedom.

@fahed_khitan

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.

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