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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Monday, May 09, 2005

What about Jordan?

Today when i was checking Nadz's blog for updates ( none so far) , I saw the link she had about a palestinian women protest on her honour killing post, which i didn't click on when i read the post yesterday. My bad. It turned out to be extreemly interesting, cause it dealt with women pressuring the Palestinian leadership to change the laws. Certain paragraphs, however, raised some questions in my mind. Here is the moneyshot: Under a Jordanian law in force in the Palestinian territories, a man accused of an honour killing is treated leniently, with judges generally giving consideration to the "extenuating circumstances". The accused may face a six-month prison term although in the event of a confession, the sentence might be reduced. Ok, so let me get this straight: you kill a woman in your family because she "violated your honor" in some way and the maximum you would get is a 6 month prison term which may be reduced in the event of your confession? So you kill her for violating your warped sense of honour and you get a slap on the rest cause you were under "extenuating circumstances"? So you kill her, but you are the one who is hurting and should be excused? Is this one of those "This will hurt me more then it will hurt you" moments? Ahh, ok! It makes sense then. Allright, let's pull the usual apologist crap that the palestinians are under occupation and that they are victims and they don't know any better. Ok. I am willing to do that. I will bite and ignore the palestinian angle this time, because i have bigger fish to fry. Who? Well, Jordan! In case you didn't notice in the article, they are using a Jordanian law, which , i may add, isn't suffering from any of the problems that the palestinians in the occupied territory are suffering from. On the contrary, their eceonomy is strong, and they have great economic and political relationship with Israel and the West with their King- whose word is law there by the way- being openly secular and westernized. And yet, they have that law on their books. How come no one is fighting or blaming Jordan on that one? I mean, at least the palestinians are pressuring their government to change that law in their territories, so you got to give them credit for that. What about the Jordanians? Where are the women rights groups? What's going on Queen Rania and Queen Nour, you two OK with this? I am just wondering....


At 5/09/2005 05:06:00 AM, Anonymous Ruth said...

Some time ago I wondered about the same thing. This is what I found:


Women challenge 'honor' killings

A widespread campaign aims to help Jordan's forgotten victims

By Alasdair Soussi | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

published March 2, 2005


The Jordanian Women's Union is run by Nadia Shamroukh, an outspoken and determined activist who believes that empowering women through education and legal awareness are the best ways to fight discrimination and social oppression.


There are 10 branches of the Union throughout Jordan, in both rural areas and in the Palestinian refugee camps. The group works to teach women to read and write, and to help them understand their legal rights. In addition, it campaigns to change the laws that discriminate against women, particularly those that permit leniency toward honor crimes.

Shamroukh is particularly proud of the fact that her organization plays an active role in the lives of potential victims.

"If a woman calls our hot line and asks for protection, to come and stay in our shelter, and can't come in by herself, then we will go to her house and take the woman from there," she says. "This is what we do. None of the other organizations does this kind of thing. Only us."


At 5/09/2005 06:05:00 PM, Blogger Rancher said...

OK, now I'll start blogging against the abuses of Jordan. It's tough to dis our allies on the war on terror but that can't just give them a pass on human rights and the self determination of their own people.

At 5/09/2005 10:58:00 PM, Blogger Brian H said...

good catch. For all its acitivism, I think that group is still way too patient, though. The whole thing is utterly outrageous.

Jordan needs to hear some very tough "If not this, then that will happen" messages from the West. There are lots of fudged issues that Jordan has been getting away with for many decades, the treatment of Palestinians not least among them.

At 5/10/2005 03:40:00 AM, Anonymous Ruth said...


What exaclty are you referring rearding Jordan's treatment of Palestians.

Jordan is the only Arab country where Palestinians got citizenship and full rights.

Jordan is, of course, still an autocratic regime, however it is better legitimized (original dynasty still ruling) than other Arab regimes and therefore uses rather less oppression.

The honor killing issue is not an issue of politcs but of tribal culture which is running still very strong among the Bedouin tribes.

If any serious campaign should be planned, I would strongly suggest to consult with the Jordanian women's organisation before


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