Islamic extremism on rise in Jordan
- First is the spread of arms in the country. The price of a Kalashnikov rifle has become an international indicator about the level of militia arming in third world countries, and its price is now less than $500 in Jordan. Two years ago, a Kalashnikov was rare and cost no less than $2,000. The drastic drop in price indicates that the rifle is abundant and the market could be flooded. He said that the weapons are mostly coming through the Syrian border.
- The second risk indicator on the Jordanian scene is the Sunni fundamentalists. Reports by various media outlets of the April 17 airstrike by Jordanian fighters on a Syrian opposition convoy transporting weapons to Jordan have become almost daily news for Jordanians. The council member said that, in Amman, there is talk about regular convoys that cross the border to Jordan from near Daraa in Syria, and those convoys are loaded with large quantities of weapons of all types. But who is behind these operations? According to him it is the Sunni Islamist fundamentalists, in particular groups affiliated with al-Qaeda or that aspire to be.
- The third risk indicator, the Jordanian politician explained, is the Islamists trying to find a “suitable soil” for sectarian strife and factionalism within Jordan. This is unprecedented in the state’s history. He gave a clear example: On May 1, a Salafist party invited Saudi Sheikh Mohammad al-Arifi, who is well known for his fundamentalist extremism, to deliver a lecture at the University of Jordan in Amman. It should be noted that the sheikh is known to have issued extremist fatwas in the past. After the lecture, the organizers arranged to distribute to the media the news that a Christian Jordanian girl, from the area of Ajloun in the north of the country, came forward, after Arifi’s sermon, to declare that she had converted to Islam and was now a Muslim. Hours later, a news report claimed that the girl’s parents killed her in her hometown as punishment for leaving her religion.
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