Tuesday, September 27, 2016

From Jadaliyya: Hattar assassination and Jordanian elections

"Yesterday, someone murdered Nahed Hattar because a cartoon Hattar shared on Facebook offended that person. Yes, there are those in society who would kill others for expressing different views. But there are those who do not allow different views to be aired in the first place. They give weight to the idea that speech should be regulated, criminalized, and silenced. How many people has the regime harassed, arrested, or imprisoned over the past decades for making statements it did not agree with or were critical of Jordanian official policy? How many student organizations did it disband, publications did it block, and individuals did it refer to the State Security Court for merely engaging in critical debate?
But why dwell on these issues? Let us instead join the media chorus of celebrating the elections for a parliament with no power, the endless reform initiatives without structural change, and the wonderful PR machine of stable Jordan. Let us champion the path that has been announced, without looking at the road that was paved by the very same people."