This issue regarding the Danish cartoons is like a monkey on the nation’s back: it just won’t go away! The redundant quality to it has rendered it even more absurd than the first time around, which by now feels like ages ago! It’s like beating a dead dog with a stick.
On the front page of Al-Ghad the other day, right up there in big bold letters were the headlines: “MP’s call on the government to cancel peace agreement and all cooperation with Denmark”. The headline is actually a two-parter since the peace agreement they’re referring to is that with Israel. The only thing worse than this actually being a story that is worthy to be on the front page, above the fold, or even equivalent to the Kingdom’s strained relationship with Israel, is the fact that Members of Parliament actually took the time to discuss this issue during the session to the extent of which they did! In fact, 48 MP’s ended up calling on the expulsion of both the Israeli and Danish ambassadors during the same session, with neither motion being put to a vote.
…Not just supermarkets are involved in the boycott; a full fledged â€œMessenger of Allah Unites Usâ€ campaign has the support of tens of parliamentarians, around 40 media outlets, thousands of volunteers and professional associations.
The media campaign has decided to institute legal action against media outlets that were involved in â€œdemeaning Prophet Mohammadâ€, arguing that the actions violated the universal declaration of human rights and several articles of the Jordanian Penal Code.
But because of Jordanâ€™s close ties with European countries and larger issues at stake, many have questioned the selective method of the consumer boycott and its adverse affect on local businessman. [source]
I find boycotts ironic sometimes, especially in Jordan. But forget about the shooting-yourself-in-the-foot quality that comes with hurting local businesses here in Jordan more than the Danish media in Denmark. Forget about the fact that people are boycotting Danish butter but are still taking their insulin shots (80% of which are imported from Denmark). Forget about the irony of the pirated DVD shop, Hammudeh, posting “Don’t buy Danish products” on its door. Instead, think about this:
Why is no one boycotting local goods by local producers whose prices have skyrocketed, some of which have gone unchecked by the consumer protection society (in my opinion)? Isn’t that the natural reaction? Why were no boycotts issued for Israeli products or more specifically American products, over the massacres happening in Palestine?
I ask these questions not to urge such boycotts but to point out the irony of Jordanian’s having chosen to boycott something utterly ridiculous in light of much more serious issues.
Produce prices have gone up.
Bread prices have gone up. We even have to pay for the plastic bags they put them in now.
Fuel prices have gone up.
Dairy prices have gone up.
Real wages have stayed the same.
Where is the outcry there? Where is the outrage over an issue that hits closest to home? Where is the mass mobilization and campaigns and vibrant speeches in the Parliament by our “representatives”?
So you’ve gotta ask yourself: what the hell is going on here? Is this a way for Jordanians to forget: by investing their anger in an issue of little or no significance? Or are “we” really being misled, with the national media helping to steer the boat through the waters of misconception, or rather, misdirection? I pray the latter assumption is false because it would mean we are generally too unintelligent to think for ourselves and prioritize, giving in to the whims of the media.
But then again, with prices being so high these days, maybe people just aren’t getting their vitamins.
Maybe they’re just not thinking straight.