A number of people in the U.S. have asked me if there have been any effects here in Jordan from the protests and attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. The U.S. Embassy here in Jordan issued this yesterday (it’s unclassified, so I can repost):
Subject: Planned Weekend Demonstrations at U.S. Embassy Amman
U.S. Embassy Amman has learned that various groups have called for demonstrations in front of or near the U.S. Embassy this evening and tomorrow.
Today at 1700 hours or later: Some groups on Facebook are calling for a protest in front of the Embassy. Police have not confirmed the event, but there will be additional security deployed at the Embassy.
Friday, September 14 following noon prayers: Online media outlets are reporting and the police have confirmed that one group plans to demonstrate in front of Al-Kurdi Mosque (near Abdoun Mall), approximately one-half a mile from the Embassy.
Friday, September 14 at 1800 hours: Another group plans to hold a sit in outside of the Embassy under the slogan “Be With Us.” The police have confirmed this event.
So, yes, there is a reaction here in Jordan but significantly more contained by American and Jordanian security services. Here are a few news stories on Jordan specifically:
Ahram – Jordanians Protest Anti-Islam Film, Torch US Flags
Jordan Times – Hundreds Peacefully Protest Prophet Muhammad Film Near US Embassy
I caught some of the general discussion taking place in the international and American media, U.S. politics, and social media in response to the embassy breaches in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, and the subsequent protests at U.S. embassies across the region. There’s much to say, of course, especially as much of the discussion degenerates into predictable generalizations of religion and culture that have little benefit (and do some harm) in understanding these events.
In lieu of writing something lengthy, I’ll just share a few things that are perhaps slightly different than the typical coverage on the news:
The “Amman Message” was initiated by King Abdullah II of Jordan in 2005 in consultation with top Muslim religious scholars seeking to “declare what Islam is and what it is not, and what actions represent it and what actions do not.”
One of many responses to the events by Muslims who deplore the actions of the attackers, arguing that:
“…their reaction, which included vandalism and the murder of innocent civilians, completely contradicts the character and message of our beloved Prophet. In a famous Islamic tradition, he stated: ‘It is not allowed to cause harm to others nor to return harm for harm.’ … When lies are spread about our Prophet, we simply respond with the truth. And the most effective response is to embody his merciful character on a daily basis. Violence and vandalism carried out in his name are more offensive than the content of any film.”
I also came across this (quite graphic) Onion “news” story with a satirical, though very pointed criticism of the outrage and violence in response to stupidity and ignorance (like “Innocence of Muslims” film). Both are senseless.