"Jordan, don't change"

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/03/2014 - 13:13

Though undeclared, the sense of security of the Christians, especially of the youth, in the region is diminishing while watching Christians' human rights getting undermined or Christians becoming a target just for being Christians in number of states e.g. Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Gaza. Hence, last week and most expectedly with a lot of desolation, pain, worries and feeling unsafe, many Christians came together celebrating the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Is certain component of local cultures conducive to such human rights violations? Is the local political environment contributing to such hostile conducts by its citizens? Are such intimidating comportments remnants of the past or simply a spill over from neighbouring societies and states?

All these factors collectively act in the prevalence of human rights abuses specifically pertinent certain faith followers. However these same factors jointly can enhance the preservation of this specific human right through a culture that embraces tolerance and coexistence amid a political milieu that blesses and promotes such forbearance through official decisions and regulations.

During the holy week preceding the Easter celebration, this author experienced a lovely surprise, however not alien to the Jordanian society. Whilst visiting Layan flower shop in Amman to deliver a document, the owner, a Muslim from Al-Fayez family, of the shop and the assistant themselves highlighted the week being one of prayers for the Christians and offered a bouquet of flowers for the author to take to the church where Christian Jordanians peacefully and with great serenity prayed and attended Masses throughout the week.

Daily observing and analyzing the atrocities committed in the name of Islam the past several years in number of Muslim states and meeting such a considerate Muslim in a country neighbour to societies where Christians are discriminated against. The above-underlined factors can help to detect and understand this paradox.

No credible evidence can best testify the tolerant culture of the Jordanian society like the Armenians who were massacred and others deported from their historical homeland and found safe haven among Jordanians. This tolerance is deep rooted in the Jordanian society since the inception of the state of Jordan. Further, Jordanian leadership continues to consolidate this tolerance and coexistence through decisions and policies that enhance interfaith dialogues and understanding, thus preserving the rights of Christians and keeping the Jordanian society at large informed of and respect the religious occasions and practices of all. Thus a political-cultural environment is present which explains the knowledge and the conduct of the owner of the flower shop.

This said, this very humane and compassionate cultural milieu of Jordan can be easily abducted, as it was the case with other tolerant societies like Syria, due to some ultra-conservative members of the local society and possible spill over from near and remote neighbours. Hence, there is urgent need first to rehabilitate these local extremist members together with attending to the needs of the marginalized and simultaneously well immunize Jordan and the Jordanian society against destabilizing if not destructive external infiltration, and equally making urgent plea for Jordan not to change.

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Madeleine Mezagopian