By Muhammad Aburumman
The State Security Court decided, last week, to amend the charge against the notable figure in the Muslim Brotherhood D r. Mohammed Baker from "undermining the regime" to "insult", and as he has been held for six months, it was considered that he served his penalty and was released.
This move calls for optimism that soon other activists will be released, most of them affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, on trial before the State Security Court on similar charges, but in essence, linked to political differences and issues of expression, lead by the prominent leader in the Muslim Brotherhood Zaki Bani Irsheid, after the State Security Court postponed his hearing yesterday to the middle of this month.
Such a move is required and necessary, not only at the level of these people, even on a level to re-examine and evaluate the policy during the past period, and to look at the challenges ahead, notably Jordan engaging more seriously and effectively in the current war against Islamic State, after the assassination of martyr pilot Muath Kasasbeh.
The other side to the “war on IS” is that we are not just talking about an armed organization that expands in neighboring countries, and attracts tens of thousands from abroad, including hundreds of Jordanians who are fighting with it and the Jabhat al-Nusra today; we are talking about the "extended network" cells and the model that is spreading, and ideas such as a virus penetrating the border and affecting a large number of young people. This means that for the internal immunization to this war, the issue is more complex than armed conflict, as well as the protection of the Jordanian national interests at home and abroad.
In the past few days, the Salafi jihadist stream clerk, and its global theorist, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. Immediately after his release, he conducted an interview with Roy’a channel, in which he criticized IS and spoke about his experience in mediation, during the last period, for the release of Muath Kasasbeh, in conjunction with similar criticism from Abu Qatada to this organization; what official bodies feel it serves the agenda of the state media and political discourse in the current war, which is a smart tactical move.
But that is not enough; today, we recognize that we are in front of the spread and the rise of this trend in Jordanian society. Therefore, the release of al-Maqdisi and his role, with Abu Qatada and others, is important within the stream itself to cope with this ideology, even though this same role has greatly diminished in recent times due to the rise of the IS model in the region, and attracted a large proportion of young people, even within the Jihadi Salafist movement itself.
On the other hand, if we wanted to lie to ourselves, we will talk about the role of the official religious establishment in the face of this trend. But officials in their hearts know exactly that this institution is incapable and weak, and does not have the credibility to convince the youth and the community to build religious and intellectual immunity against this radical ideology, while enlightenment and intellectual reform plans need time, based on the theme of religious reform, which cannot be done over night.
One of the most important cards in the face of this thought, it is the Islam that believes in the democratic process and the political game. Even though there have been criticisms against it and doubts about its rhetoric, understandings can be reached and dialogue can be made with it in order to promote an Islamic perspective to counter the radical trend. What is more important than ideological perspective, is the objective reality. As long as there is another Islamist stream that has presence in the street and is active in the opposition of these ideas, that in itself is a response to the arguments of the other stream, which feeds on the blockage of the horizon, and economic conditions.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition