Jordan’s Legal Jihad

Jordan’s Legal Jihad

By Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/3/2008

In a brazen attempt to stifle free speech in the West, a Jordanian court recently summoned twelve European citizens to answer criminal charges of blasphemy and inciting hatred.

 

Among those sought by the court is Geert Wilders, the Dutch liberal politician who made the anti-Islamist film, Fitna. Released last March, the Dutch MP’s production caused an uproar in Islamic countries, since it equated Islam with violence. Now a Middle Eastern court would like to prosecute Wilders for the “crime.” (Ironically, a Dutch court dropped charges against him for inciting hatred against Muslims with his film the day before the Jordanian court issued its subpoena.)

 

The Jordanian court’s move is only the most ambitious attempt to silence debate about Islam. Until now, the preferred strategy has been to file civil lawsuits in western courts to intimidate critics. The latest version of what may be called the legal jihad is even more disturbing.

 

In one subpoena, issued in early June, the Jordanian court ordered ten Danish newspaper editors to travel to Jordan for the “crime” of having republished the “Mohammad cartoons” last February. The cartoons, first published in 2005, were also greeted with disturbances in Muslim lands. Seventeen Danish newspapers republished the controversial cartoons as a response to the discovery of an Islamist plot to murder Kurt Westergaard. Westergaard, a caricaturist, drew the most famous of those cartoons in the form of Mohammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban, for which he is also included in the summons.

 

This new campaign of intimidation against the West is being mounted by a Jordanian organization calling itself “Messenger of Allah Unite Us”, which is made up of “… media outlets, professional associations, parliamentarians and thousands of volunteers.” This organization, according to one account, arose as a “civilized response” to the Mohammad cartoons’ republication in 17 Danish papers last winter, after which it took the matter to a Jordanian court and successfully had charges pressed against the Danes, and later against Wilders.

 

The subpoenas will be sent to the twelve Europeans through their embassies in Jordan. If they do not appear within 15 days, the Messenger of Allah group says it will seek international arrest warrants through Interpol.

 

But while Denmark and Holland will not forcibly send innocent citizens to Jordan, this new, “legal jihad” tactic of criminalizing those believed to have insulted Islam constitutes a threat on an unprecedented level against freedom.

 

Citizens of western countries who criticize Islam, and are even willing to face lawsuits in civil courts their own countries for doing so, may now exercise restraint if they risk facing criminal charges in a Muslim country. Especially if the charge is blasphemy and it is being tried by a sharia court, which can impose a death sentence (The Danes and Wilders, a Jordanian lawyer said, are facing a maximum of three years in jail).

 

As well, critics of Islam who have outstanding warrants against them from courts in Muslim countries will have their freedom of movement restricted, since travel abroad will now be problematic. Wilders expressed this sentiment, saying he will be careful when he travels now. Such targeted individuals, like Wilders, will obviously have reservations travelling to a third country where Jordan could file an extradition application or may already have an extradition treaty in place.

 

But what is most disturbing is that an Islamic country would dare subpoena citizens of another state for an action not committed within its borders but in a land where no laws were broken. Besides being meant as a weapon of intimidation, this tactic also represents a frightening extension of Islamic law into the heart of western countries.

 

But perhaps most ominously, this incredibly brazen measure shows that even a small Islamic country like Jordan has no fear of Europe. And, indeed, no retaliatory response met the Jordanian court’s action against European citizens.

 

Europe’s appeasement is also evident in the second part of Messenger For Allah group’s anti-blasphemy campaign. This part calls for a commercial boycott of all Danish and Dutch products in Jordan and of anything associated with the two countries, such as airlines and shipping companies. The boycott campaign actually began late last February but was suspended due to the losses Jordanian importers were incurring that had large stocks of unsold Danish and Dutch products.

 

The boycott, however, was resumed June 10. One million posters containing the logos of banned Dutch and Danish products will eventually hang in Jordanian businesses under the title “Living Without It.” The boycott will also be spread by television and radio ads, t-shirts, and bumper stickers.

 

Dutch and Danish companies were instructed they could get their products off the boycott list if they, essentially, betrayed their nations’ values and their countrymen. The affected companies, according to The Jordan Times, were told to denounce the Dutch film and the Danish cartoons in the media both in Jordan and in at least one publication in their own country, support the Jordanian legal action taken against Wilders and the Danish newspaper people as well as the creation of an international anti-blasphemy law.

 

Several companies have already complied. When informed of the stipulation that requires a denunciation be published in a Dutch newspaper, a spokesman for a Dutch food company that exports to Jordan said his company “…would print it if needed.”

 

But such groveling will only buy these companies a little time, as another Dutch company discovered. It had immediately distanced itself from Wilders and Fitna after the film’s release last March but still had products placed on the boycott posters.

 

The Dutch government did not fare much better in its appeasement efforts. One Dutch embassy official in Jordan said he was surprised his country was included in the boycott in the first place since his government had already printed statements in the Jordanian press distancing itself from Wilders’ film.

 

And, naturally, the Jordanian blackmailers’ demands have not stopped. Only last week, Dutch and Danish companies were told to put the boycott posters up in their own countries if they did not want their products blacklisted.

 

Perhaps to further intimidate Holland’s and Denmark’s populations, the Jordanians are also claiming their boycott campaign is causing these countries huge financial losses of over four billion Euros in four months. A Danish official, however, says that is ridiculous since his country only exported about $50 million worth of goods to Jordan in 2007.

 

The overall goal of the Messenger of Allah group’s legal and commercial campaign against the two European states, it says, is the enactment of “a universal law that prohibits the defamation of any prophet or religion”, especially of the Prophet Mohammad. Islamic countries are already pushing for such a law at the United Nations.

 

“The boycott is a means but not an end,” said Zakaria Sheikh, a spokesperson for Messenger of Allah Unite Us. “We are not aiming at collective punishment, but when the Danish and Dutch people put pressure on their governments to support the creation of an international law, we are achieving our goal.”

 

Well, there you have it. The Muslim organization wants Denmark and Holland not just to muzzle themselves but to help it muzzle the rest of the world as well.

 

But just the opposite should occur. All western countries should help put a muzzle on Jordan’s ridiculous campaign to squelch free speech, meddle in the internal affairs of two sovereign, western states and intimidate their citizens. In terms of financial measures, Denmark, showing its usual mettle, has already led the way when it told the Sudan it would have to repay a $500 million debt the Scandinavian country was considering cancelling, if it joined the boycott.

 

It should also be pointed out in the West that Jordan, which is demanding respect for its religion, does not respect other religions equally. While the practice of other faiths is not forbidden in the Middle Eastern country, none are allowed to proselytize, and converts from Islam to other religions are prosecuted by Jordanian sharia courts.

 

Moreover, the Jordanians should be told that if they want to extradite inciters of hatred to their courts, then citizens of their country, and of other Islamic countries for that matter, who have advocated killing Jews and other the infidels will be extradited to face western courts. In the end, if legal jihad is not recognized as the danger to the West that it is, and vigorously opposed, it will wind up punishing more than just two small European countries.


Stephen Brown is a columnist for Frontpagemag.com. A scholar and former news reporter, his field of expertise is Muslim forced marriages and honor killings. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.
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Obama’s Problem Mentors

Obama’s Problem Mentors

Rick Moran
First there was Jeremiah Wright. Is Emil Jones next?

The press had a field day with Obama’s religious mentor and friend. But the story behind Obama’s political mentor also contains some disturbing elements. 

Emil Jones, the Democratic leader of the Illinois State Senate is the man who is credited with propelling the little known state senator to the political heights in Washington.

“You have the power to elect a US senator,” Obama told Emil Jones, Democratic leader of the Illinois state senate. Jones looked at the ambitious young man smiling before him and asked, teasingly: “Do you know anybody I could make a US senator?”

According to Jones, Obama replied: “Me.” It was his first, audacious step in a spectacular rise from the murky political backwaters of Springfield, the Illinois capital.

[snip]
 
At one point during Obama’s 2003 Senate campaign, Jones set out to woo two African-American politicians miffed by Obama’s presumption and ambition. One of them, Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, a state senator, had scoffed that Obama was so ambitious he would run for “king of the world” if the position were vacant.

When Jones secured the two men’s support, Obama asked his mentor how he had pulled it off. “I made them an offer,” Jones said in mock-mafioso style. “And you don’t want to know.”

Jones is now at the centre of a long row over his attempt to block proposed laws cracking down on his state’s “pay-to-play” tradition – whereby companies hoping to win government contracts have to contribute to the campaign funds of officials.

Jones staff say he blocked the bill because he intends to produce something tougher. No proposals have appeared.

Jones helped Obama prior to his run for the US senate by assigning high profile legislation to the candidate thus filling out his fairly pathetic record as a state senator. Most of Obama’s “accomplshments” in Springfield were the result of Jones allowing Obama a prominent role in getting legislation through the senate – legislation that in many cases had been introduced and championed over the years by other lawmakers.

Again, no one is accusing Obama of doing anything illegal. But as the evidence grows that he is just another politician and someone whose mentors are anything but paragons of virtue and probity, whatever otherworldly sheen that surrounded him begins to fall off and we can see him for what he truly is; a shrewd, politically gifted, far left politician.

HT: Ed Lasky

Islamists Threaten Jordan

Islamists Threaten Jordan

Intelligence item.

Jordan is scared.

The pro-Western monarchy feels increasingly encircled and threatened from within–by Iranian-backed Islamists.

Islamism is on the rise in Jordan. The leading Islamist opposition group, the Islamic Action Front, is publicly committed to peaceful methods. But some intelligence experts believe Al Qaeda has infiltrated the movement.

These same experts contend that hundreds, if not thousands, of Islamist fighters in Iraq are poised to enter Jordan, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern nations.

Hamas is also a threat to Jordan. The Palestinian Islamist movement, which has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel, knows that its terrrorism and extremism are leading many observers to suddenly question the conventional wisdom of the sacrosanct two-state solution to the Palestinian/Arab/Islamist-Israeli conflict–i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza. For the first time in decades, Jordan is seen by many in Israel and the West as a proper negotiating partner for the future of the contested West Bank territories of Judea and Samaria, which Israel conquered in the Six-Day War of June, 1967.

Hamas, which actually regards Jordan as part of historic Palestine, will do everything possible to derail talks between Jerusalem and Amman on the future disposition of the West Bank lands.

 

The Arab League, Apple Pie and Indigestion

The Arab League, Apple Pie and Indigestion

By David Singer

Jordan’s King Abdullah is at it again, repeating the mantra of the Arab League, of which Jordan is a foundational member:

“The principal problem in the region is the Palestinian issue and, if it is not solved, it will be impossible to solve other problems.”  [Jerusalem Post 2 March 2007]

Palestine comprised an area of about 120000 square kilometers, which has now been divided into two sovereign States – Israel (22000 square kilometers) and Jordan (92000 square kilometers) – plus an area of 6000 square kilometers called the West Bank and Gaza in which statehood still remains undeclared.
The Arab League has called for full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank and Israel’s acceptance of an independent Arab State there with East Jerusalem as its capital.
This means

(i) the expulsion of some 400000 Jews presently living in the West Bank who have lived there for all or part of the last 40 years.
(ii) the perpetual abandonment by Jews of all claims to reconstitute their national home in the West Bank as conferred on them by the League of Nations and confirmed by the United Nations.
(iii) The severance of the Jews from their biblical heartland where they lived as an independent nation long before any Arabs came to the area as foreign conquerors and occupiers seven centuries after the birth of Jesus.

The Arab League has shown no indication of any readiness to abandon this “all or nothing approach” by agreeing to the Jews retaining and living in a portion of this disputed territory whilst the remainder and its Arab residents becomes part of Jordan, as it was between 1948 and 1967.
A second Arab State in Palestine, which has been propounded for the last 15 years, is as ridiculous as suggesting a second Jewish State in Palestine.
Two peoples need two States not three.
Whilst the Arab League persists with this intransigent attitude there is indeed a problem, but one solely of the Arab League’s choosing.
The Arab League presently is made up of 22 member States covering almost 14 million square kilometers in which almost 320 million Arabs reside.
It is ridiculous and completely false to continually advocate that a dispute over 6000 square kilometers housing 3 million Arabs must first be settled before all the other problems in the region can be resolved.
Yet this is precisely what the Arab League has sold to the Quartet – America, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union. – and they have swallowed it hook line and sinker
Besotted by this tale that could have come from the Arabian Nights, the Quartet has thrown billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours in aid and diplomatic maneuvering in trying to solve this problem. They have not gotten the disputants to even move off the starting block.
Meanwhile the Arab League has allowed far more serious bushfires to rage out of control in some of its’ own member States, conflicts that threaten to eventually consume the Arab League itself.
In fact some League members such as Syria are actively helping to fan the fires by providing arms, money and safe transit for terrorists to bring down the governments of other member states where life is anything but pleasant.
The League’s biggest problem involves a non Arab state – Iran – as it seeks leadership of the Islamic world through the supremacy of Shia Islam as the dominant Islamic religion over Sunni Islam , the religion of the majority of the Arabs.
This is the clash of ideologies that must first take place before militant Islam can hope to achieve its aim of making Islam the world’s dominant religion.
Islam can only have one leader not two to achieve this objective. Will that leader be Shia or Sunni?
The Arab League’s failure to prevent Iran interfering in the affairs of Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Iraq has given Iran and the Shiites easy entrée into the Arab World and put the Arab League’s very future existence under serious threat.
The white ants are on the march and the Arab edifice is in danger of total collapse.
Perhaps it is time for the Quartet to tell the Arab League to start solving the problems affecting their own member States such as Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Somalia and Sudan, where the lives of 100 million people are at risk every day and where the sight of Moslem blowing up Moslem and mosque after mosque being bombed is unbelievable
The Quartet should also put the Palestinian question on the backburner and focus their attention, effort and political clout (if any is left) on the real and pressing issues outlined above.
Creating another Arab State on 6000 square kilometers of land when you already have 22 Arab States on 14 million square kilometers of land reminds me of the glutton who was given 99.5% of the apple pie but still was not satisfied and demanded the rest.
He ended up with severe indigestion.
[The writer acknowledges Wikipedia as the source for the statistics appearing in this article]
David Singer is an Australian lawyer and convenor of Jordan is Palestine International, an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor states to the Mandate for Palestine.

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