According to the Economist magazine, Jordan ranks 8 out of 20 in predictions of where and how democracy will spread in the Middle East and Africa next year. Jordan scored 4.45 out of 10. I wonder if the Economist took into consideration Jordan’s upcoming national agenda when it arrived at that score. I think, for Jordan, this is not that bad. I mean, let’s look at the bright side, there are only six Arab countries in front of us. Here is one quote of interest:
And the Americans will promote a trio of more or less benevolent monarchies — Morocco, Jordan and Bahrain — as exemplars of their democracy campaign.
Source: [Mail and Guardian online]
According to AFP, the Ecomonist’s "Index of Political Freedom" ranked 20 countries on 15 indicators of political and civil liberties for its annual preview of the year ahead. Here is the full list:
1) Israel: 8.20 2) Lebanon: 6.55 3) Morocco: 5.20 4) Iraq: 5.05 4) Palestine: 5.05
6) Kuwait: 4.90 7) Tunisia: 4.60 8) Jordan: 4.45 8) Qatar: 4.45 10) Egypt: 4.30
10) Sudan: 4.30 10) Yemen: 4.30 13) Algeria: 4.15 14) Oman: 4.00
15) Bahrain: 3.85 15) Iran: 3.85 17) UAE: 3.70 18) Saudi Arabia: 2.80 18) Syria: 2.80 20) Libya: 2.05
UPDATE: Here is the Lebanese perspective from Beirut Beltway.
You are wrong on several points. First, are you suggesting that Muslims aren’t allowed in the Al Aqsa Mosque at any time – your examples only mention Fridays.
You say Israeli Jews can wander the old city freely, but so can Israeli Muslims. The issue in question isn’t the Old City, but the Temple Mount compound – you shouldn’t mix the two. To the best of my knowledge Jews can not go into the Temple Mount, which is managed by the Wakf. yes, Sharon went there, but he had to get special permission from the government (and I believe the PA). Normal citizens cannot go there – he was able to pull it off once. Friday prayers are also often fiery anti-Israel diatribes and in the past fiery sermons often result in rocks being thrown at Jewish worshippers in the lower ground surrounding the Temple Mount (i.e. Western Wall) and other security disturbances, limiting who goes there at that time does not appear at all unreasonable. At times when there were no security issues, the restrictions were not there.
“On the other hand, Jews in Yemen, Syria, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries, enjoy religious freedom that is comparable to their non-Jewish counterparts.As a matter of fact, a good sum of them still live in their original countries – and have favoured not relocating to “Israel”, halting allegations that ram around the alleged oppression they encounter in countries with Muslim majority.”
That is simply laughable. At the year 1900 many Arab/Muslim countries had sizable Jewish populations – Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Morocco. There are almost no Jews there now. How many Jews now live in those countries? Millions of them live in Israel and the US and I have interacted with them enough to call that one out. Portions of my family fled Morocco, and I am currently dating a girl whose family is from Iran. In the last century the Jews were with few exceptions (Turkey stands out) ethnically cleansed from the Arab world. Show me prominent Jews in an Arab country. Show me a sizable population or Jews that are involved in politics in an Arab country the way Arabs in Israel are. Plus, since we are talking about Jerusalem, look at what happened after the Jordanian conquest of the old city in 1948. All the Jews were expelled and the synagogues destroyed. Compare that to Israeli rule after the 1967 conquest.