No matter how eloquently King Abdullah II of Jordan seeks to portray Islam as compassionate, caring and tolerant, he will not succeed in colouring his despotic monarchy as a “tolerant Muslim state” pursuing the footsteps of his father as a “great peacemaker against the forces of destruction”.
Unfortunately for him Jordan has become synonymous with deception, collusion and betrayal. And until he recognizes the validity of this stigma, as well as the sheer weight of historical evidence which underpins Jordan’s treachery to the Arab cause – not excluding Palestine – he will continue serving the interest of Zionist colonialism and US imperialism.
His article titled “The Prophet Betrayed” (Sunday Independent; December 15) sadly reflects the fact that he is as misguided as his father was and as willing as his great grandfather to continue their shameful tradition of inordinate submission to western demands. Together with many other Arab despots, Abdullah II knows only too well that western acceptance of stable dictatorial regimes has to do with considerations which go beyond their oppressive conduct towards their populations.
The West disregards the fact that in Jordan, this conduct embraces detentions, torture, killing and kidnapping. And the favourable considerations include the regime’s brutal behaviour towards Palestine, Islam and other human rights issues. It is no less than this convergence of interests which allows Arab leaders to suppress their people in order to stay in power thereby ensuring that western political and economic exploits remain on track.
As a surrogate of the British, it was not for Abdullah I to question that even the 1917 Balfour declaration was contradictory and contained the seeds of its own destruction; it promised a national home to the Jews without prejudicing the rights of the Arab people. While his father Hussein I, (Great great-grandfather of Abdullah II) was being promised primary Arab leadership over the entire Arabian Peninsula for his treacherous role in assisting the eviction of the Ottoman Khalifate, contrary promises were also being made to his archrival, Ibn Saud.
The Arab Revolt, as the Hashemite uprising against the Ottomans came to be known, was not a mass movement and had very little to do with the Arab people. According to Said Aburish it was “an Anglo-Hashemite conspiracy” which depended on Bedouin mercenaries, British money and a number of Arab officers in the Turkish army who had defected to Britain.
Occupying his father’s throne in a dynasty which originated in 1922 with the artificial creation of Jordan, does not confer any legitimacy on Abdullah II. Neither does the abuse of “holiness” stemming from claims of belonging to the clan of Hashemites justify his shameless groveling at the feet of Israel’s war criminal premier Ariel Sharon.
Other than an ingrained willingness to continue the tradition of betrayal, what else will explain Jordan’s closure of Hamas offices in Amman and their replacement with Israel’s notorious secret service Mossad?
If he is inclined to follow his own advice that is to prevent the abuse of religion, may he be reminded that the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was a messenger of God not the founder of a dynasty.
On his recent visit to Beirut, British Labour MP George Galloway warned Arab students not to allow foreign powers to decide which country will be governed by which ruler. He said that he regularly passes two rooms in the British parliament where the Balfour Declaration was written and where the Sykes-Picot Plan to carve up the Middle East was devised.
Since September 11 a third room has opened where new maps for the region are being drawn up. As in the past with the connivance of his forebears which allowed the Arabian peninsula to be carved up, Abdullah II, as the current deputy-sheriff lording over his people is complicit in the new designs and thereby an impediment to the liberation of Palestine.
(Mr. Iqbal Jasarat is Chairman of the Media Review Network, which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.)