Of a government and a not-good decision

تم نشره في Mon 9 June / Jun 2014. 06:43 PM - آخر تعديل في Mon 9 June / Jun 2014. 06:43 PM

By Fahed Khitan

The government did not to take the correct decision in regards to the request Islamic Action Front Party (IAF) held its general congress in a public facility, for more than one reason.

Firstly, the IAF is licensed in accordance with the law, and has the right, like every other social committee, to use public facilities. Secondly, it is not true that partisan activities are banned in locations such as the Royal Cultural Center or Al Hussein Cultural Center of the Greater Amman Municipality; the Jordanian Communist Party held its general congress two years ago in one of the two centers. The day before yesterday, the Jordanian Reform Party called for an event at one of the halls of Al Hussein Youth City; is this not a public facility such as the Royal Cultural Center?!

Before the wave of the so-called Arab Spring, the state’s public facilities were open before the civil and party activities, and dozens, even hundreds, of political seminars were held there. In the cultural center itself, we saw the launch of the Zamzam initiative, and the Conference Jordanian Unified Front Party three years ago, as I recall.

It is true that the Islamist movement is today outside the institutions of the state; both parliament and the government. But it certainly is not out of the state and its laws, nor should it be. The movement is open with the government, and more recently with the parliament, and I think it is also open with other sovereign entities within the state; they are not even similar to some of the unlicensed groups who have organized conferences a short time ago.

The state’s take on the Islamists is that they were working and organizing their activities in secret, and when they decided to hold a conference in the open the state closed the door before them. This sends out a bad message, not only for the Islamists, but for all political parties and movements; those of them who disagree in the future with the policies of the state should expect to an official behavior similar to that currently taken against the Islamists.

It is easy for the Islamists, or others, to hold their conference in a private room at a hotel, without arguing about the ban decision. But they, like any other party in the world, snapped up the government's decision to gain public sympathy as a party that is ostracized simply because it opposes official policies. This is their right; the government has given them the opportunity to do so.

In the Arab world around us, the opposition figures are imprisoned, the necks of the innocent are crush by terrorism, and several Arab countries are falling into a spiral of civil wars.

Jordan escaped from it all, thanks to the historic wisdom of its leadership, and wisdom of Jordanians also. In most Arab countries, the Muslim Brotherhood group was banned the hunted, while the Jordanian model remains steadfast despite the differences.

This model is worth promoting and worth our effort to export it as much as possible. What would happen if the Islamists held their conference at the Royal Cultural Center, and media broadcast images of the Conference all over the world?

The Jordanian state would enjoy an enhanced stature in the eyes of the whole world, and the Arab people around us will realize the value of Jordanian model, and would hope for something similar.

Where did the official wisdom disappear, and how do we miss such an opportunity?

@fahed_khitan

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.

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