by Khaled Abu Toameh
Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi thugs today feel secure enough to impose their will on any Jordanian. The king is encouraging his rivals to pursue their efforts to destabilize the kingdom and create an Islamic state which would one day participate in the "big jihad" to eliminate Israel.Muslim thugs in Jordan last weekend attacked a large group of young men and women who had gathered at a coffee shop in Amman to celebrate Halloween.
The thugs were members of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and the Salafi group.
The assailants claimed that the party was being held by "worshippers of the devil" and said Halloween was in violation of the teachings of Islam.
The attack is seen as yet another sign of the growing power of Muslim fundamentalists in Jordan.
If the Jordanian authorities cannot provide security for a Halloween party, how will they be able to prevent radical Muslims from taking over the kingdom in the future?
The "Arab Spring," which has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of Arab countries, has emboldened Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi followers.
These two radical groups have hijacked Jordan's pro-reform campaign and are doing their utmost to undermine the monarchy.
The two groups seek to establish an Islamic regime in Jordan that would one day participate in the "big jihad" to eliminate Israel.
The Salafi group in Jordan has dispatched dozens of terrorists to neighboring Syria to take part in the jihad [holy war] against Bashar Assad's regime. And this is happening under the watchful eye of the Jordanian security establishment.
Hundreds of Jordanian jihadis are believed to fighting alongside the anti-Assad forces in Syria together with Muslim fundamentalists from all around the world.
Mahmoud Abdel Al, 33, a Jordanian car mechanic and father of five who belonged to the Salafi group, carried out a suicide bombing in Syria last week, according to his proud family.
His mother, Hind, told the French news agency AFP that her son was very religious and had studied the Quran from the age of 10.
"He loved jihad," she said. "When he was a child he wanted to go to the West Bank to fight, but I prevented him. But when he grew up I told him, 'May Allah facilitate your mission and be satisfied with you, my son.'"
The suicide bomber could not have travelled to Syria to carry out his "holy" mission without the knowledge of the kingdom's powerful General Intelligence Department.
The Jordanian authorities believe that as long as the Muslim terrorists are going elsewhere to carry out their attacks, there is nothing to worry about.
But there is no doubt that the same jihadis who are crossing the border into Syria will one day come back to fight against King Abdullah and his regime.
Instead of taking serious measures against the terrorists, Jordan's King Abdullah is doing the exact opposite.
The king, who is already facing widespread criticism for failing to implement real reforms and combat corruption, has begun to flirt with the Salafi group in a desperate bid to win its sympathy.
By flirting with these fundamentalists, King Abdullah is also hoping to win them to his side in his confrontation with the kingdom's popular and influential Muslim Brotherhood.
Last week, in a surprise move, the king pardoned five Salafi terrorists who had planned to carry out a series of attacks against Jordanians and Western diplomats and nationals.
Sources in Amman said that King Abdullah was also planning to release Mohammed Dumus, a Salafi terrorist who murdered an American diplomat in Amman in 2003.
The king, however, backtracked at the last minute to avoid an angry response from the US, the sources said.
The king's efforts to appease the Muslim fundamentalists will only play into the hands of Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis.
As one Jordanian political analyst put it, "Our king is playing with fire."
The Muslim thugs would not have dared to attack the Halloween party if they thought that the Jordanian authorities would respond in a tough manner.
Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi thugs today feel secure enough to impose their will on any Jordanian. By releasing convicted terrorists from prison, the king is encouraging his rivals to pursue their efforts to destabilize the kingdom and create an Islamic state in Jordan.
Khaled Abu Toameh
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