Wehdat Club President Tareq Khoury Going To Jail? Jordan’s Identity Issue Just Got Worse

It may go without saying, that in the past few weeks, since the one tragic football managed to reignite tensions between two major Jordanian camps – that things have been just a bit tense when it comes to the identity issue. To make matters worse, nearly every move the state has made has not helped resolve this lingering issue; moves that have ranged from all-out silence to all-out support of the darak forces and fairly weak responses to calls for establishing an inquiry in to the match that has become the rightful catalyst in the entire unbalanced equation.

Today, things just got worse. Wehdat club president Tareq Khoury (a former member of parliament who lost in the recent elections) who has been quite outspoken about the unfolding situation – going so far as to refer to it as a “massacre” – has just been sent to jail for two years. Why? So far, at least based on what’s been reported in the media, his crime seems to center on having hit a darak officer over a year and a half ago. The judge has refused to release the verdict to the press so there is a media blackout on the details it seems. Moreover, apparently this case has been ongoing in courtroom sessions for that period of time, in the absence of Khoury and his defense. Khoury can now appeal the verdict within 15 days.

Another source claims this case goes back to March 2010 where an argument between Khoury and a darak officer ended in a physical interaction, upon which the officer filed a complaint with the courts.

Interestingly enough, Khoury was supposed to be leaving this week to Qatar to conduct an interview with Al Jazeera about the recent match.

Suffice to say, this is very bad news and will surely not go over well in subduing tensions. If anything, the state has yet to learn the fine art of timing. This – this is terrible timing. In fact, it’s downright suspicious and it will definitely be perceived that way on the street level. And politics is perceptions. Just like people assume without a doubt that the events that occurred in the recent match were racially motivated, they will assume without a doubt that Khoury’s court case is politically motivated. And if there were indeed any coordinated efforts to nudge this case along in an attempt to silence Khoury, the state has just managed to turn the guy in to a hero and solidify his base, if not gain him other supporters.

48 Comments

  • -It is prince Ali’s Birthday
    -One day before Christmas eve,as Khoury is of a Christian background
    – More than 10 articles in newspaper from statesmen,journalists close to the gov,gov officials,police officials,all attacking Khoury and claiming he is inciting national disputes.
    Khoury was not smart with his words,considering he is a former PM,but he has to say something and not stay quiet,because he is a leader of a big social club

    Now the Islamists will jump in, supporting Tariq.

    Tens of occasions were fights broke out,policemen beaten,their kiosks were burned,trashed,shooting,riots in cities,policemen dying,all this,the law is silenced,and tribal law takes care of it,no one is persecuted,no one goes to jail,they make a social gathering called 3atweh,where the aggressor walk free,the victim is told to stay quiet and forget about it.

    Of course,Khoury does not have a big tribe behind him,otherwise,he would have been walking free.

    All of a suddent the wikileaks documents are mainly Middle Eastern issues,in its finest details,like the racist chants of Faisaily supporters,something is fishy.

    2011 will be interesting, especially when prices keep going up up up up up

  • I just can’t believe that the government is this ignorant. Maybe they are doing this on purpose?

    And you are right, this is bad news

  • I think it is important to clarify some points:

    1) Tareq khoury was NOT SENT to jail, he was sentenced in absentia for 2 years in Jail for a case against him that is 3 months old, way before the current game.

    2) He will most likely not go to jail because he did not get the chance to defend himself, appeal is almost guaranteed so he can have a fair trial and defend himself.

    3) While timing does sound suspicious, however, i would like to know more details about the incident of assault against a police office (darak) by Tareq more than 3 months ago.

    4) it saddens me to see this turn into a Jordanian Palestinian identity issue. Tareq did not help at all with his unnecessary inflammatory statements post game, nor did our government way of handling the situation.

    5) We are facing an extremely difficult situation in the next few months when it comes to the peace process which will most definitely impact Jordan

    6) The government needs leadership to address this Jordanian-Palestinian identity issue once and for all.

    7) We are all Jordanians in Jordan, and Palestinians for Palestine. Period.

  • @scarfacejo: agree with all of the above. this is one of those stories where we will have to see how it develops as there is too little information. part of me feels there is something very coincidental about all of this – and then part of me feels i should know better.

    we shall wait and see i guess.

    but whatever the situation is, whatever the details or logistics – none of that matters to the average person more than the headline and the absolutist conclusion drawn from that. whatever the result of this case is, we will likely hear it being cited in various arrangements about this subject.

    in other words…there is the court of law…and then there’s the court of public opinion.

    the latter is not bound to reason for the most part.

  • he is already in Qatar according to AmmanNet’s Mohd Ersan. whats more interesting is the systematic idiocy in Jordan. i’m really speechless, HOR dedicates a special reply to Bani Irshaid and has no comment on attack against Wehdat supporters. and if you speak out, you’ll find a law suit hiding for u..

    one further point: why the hell the judge refuse to publish the sentencing? he has that authority??

  • I gurantee you the result of the Qweismeh investigation will be pro Darak and anti Wihdat. What happned with Tareq was a preemptive strike. Discrimination persists, rift gets wider and Jordan continues to fall. Thanks to the only east Jordanian who writes without bias about the issue, Mr Naseem Tarawneh

  • @zizo, “Thanks to the only east Jordanian who writes without bias about the issue”, are all the rest east jordanian writers biased? …as said above, we are all jordanians for jordan and palestenians for palestine.
    The government is handling this matter poorly, but Mr khoury is hardly a saint either. Hope we can all look at the bigger picture and do whats best for our country, not by picking sides but by creating one.

  • I read all the comments above and trying to understand what happened and why is this out of control. It is clear to me we in Jordan are facing a crucial problem that will reshape our future if we do not address it logically and based on what is right for the people of Jordan. It is an evolution that must take place to survive. Tarek Khoury is a HERO period. He is challenging the status quo in Jordan and pointing out what is not right. He is speaking on behalf of all Jordanian regardless of their heritage. The Darak is out of control and they treat people like animals, that is the problem and the real root cause. The Darak bad behavior is everywhere in Jordan and every time they get involved something goes wrong. Unless we (Jordanian) speak up we will be treated like cattle for the rest of our life. This is the evolution that must take place in order to become a stronger country with united people. This is an opportunity for the Government of Jordan to fix what is broken and to do what is right for the people of Jordan. We must stop the crying wolfs, stop the discrimination line and focus on making a difference for our country. We all must unite behind Mr. Khoury and stop the cattle treatment.

  • كما قال المثل العربي الشهير، ضربني وبكا وسبقني وشتكا ØŒ القضاء والقاضي مسخرة ومضحكه

  • did you see yesterdays live interview in aljasera sport channel ?well actualy it wasnt an interview ,it was a one side debate from the other guest .i hope you have seen it and iam waiting for an article nas ok.

  • @Bashar: well said.

    @Majad: I think that’s a bit of rabble-rousing…we should be uniting behind an idea and a belief ingrained in the constitution and applicable to all – not behind a man.

    @henno: the khoury vs. majali debate on aljazeera?

  • Does Tareq Khoury deserve to go to jail? yes, he did beat a cop or darak whatever you call him

    Should he go to jail? No, because in Jordan not everyone who deserves to go to jail does end up there. Some are exempted and he should be one of those due to his status.

  • Does Tareq Khoury deserve to go to jail? yes, he did beat a cop or darak whatever you call him

    My understanding is that the case against Khoury is not a battery case, and that the allegation in it is that he verbally threatened the darak officer with physical harm. Now, even that Khoury contests, and as someone here already said, he hasn’t got the chance to defend himself yet and appeal will likely take place, so we’ll have to wait.

  • Tarek Khoury deserves to go to jail for more than two years.
    He is creating all this trouble for his personal ego ( because he lost in the parliamentary elections)

  • i think that the point from what happened, was that the Darak forces behave so bad when dealing with jordanian citizons ( west and east jordanian), the story should not go more than this, but it took other dimensions, regarding the jordanian identity.
    in the interview between Majali and Tareq at al jazeera sport channel(why was the discussed on sport channel?) , Tareq was talking from this perspective, Darak behaved wrongly and they must be controlled, but Majali insisted to show tareq like he distroyed the blanace of identity in Jordan, and almost started a civil war when he said some statement in a moment of anger after the match.
    the identiyt and belonging to a place should be larger than what some body said or did, and if some one thinks that such identity and belonging will be shaked just because Tarik khouri said something, then he need to set with him self and admit that there is a problem need to be solved and start thinking how.
    what Majali did was focusing on Tarek not on the event or the problem, he was not up for such interview, he was talking from personal perspective, simply he could just say what he thinks about Tareq in private, or with his family and friend, and maybe write some article in the newspaper, he should not appear in such interview, he was not professional .
    before this interview, i was reading his aricles in newspaper, but maybe i won’t any more, as the arabs say:
    تسمع بالمعيدي خير من أن تراه

  • @Hamzeh: on the aljazeera debacle he seemed to have denied the entire incident – including verbally attacking a darak officer by saying “bad3a 3ala rassak”. the truth of that case is yet to reveal itself.

    @Hana: im not sure i agree with you or disagree with you completely. a bit of both i suppose. while khoury attempted to make this about something bigger than him, i think that was a tough sell. he wasnt talking about national unity or the broader sense of accountability in his earlier and initial statement – but seemed to focus on that during the interview (probably being “downplayed by aljazeera by putting it on the sports channel, rendering it a matter of sports rather than politics). khoury came off as a politician, not as a club president. i would also think he may have offended some when he said that identity issues between palestinians and jordanians should not exist because we are not talking about sharkas or armenians. that was an iffy statement.

    im not sure majali was the absolute best candidate for the job. his background gives him credibility in the sense that he doesn’t come off as a government stooge placed to defend the state. but he did focus quite a bit too much on khoury himself. then again, at the end of the day, much of this whole situation, especially with this court case coming in to the fold, has now placed khoury at the center of things. thus it is only expected that majali or anyone else who disagrees with khoury’s statements (or background) will be critical of his persona.

    in my opinion, at the end of the day, neither argument presented are in the benefit of national reconciliation. i think one caller got it right when he said the issue should be about reconciling, not creating a wedge issue, which is what this dialog seems to be lacking.

  • Khoury vs Darak man 2 years ago was a hurdle that goes between any two Jordanians on a daily basis:
    You know,the quick talk of لايكون مش عاجبك؟ روح نتف حواجبك
    and then 4 guys come between them and they start
    والله لورجيك ، سيبوني سيبوني عليه

    Childlish,having this issue revived after two years,makes the motive clear.

    Khoury didn’t loose the elections,it can’t be considering the number of people I personally saw voting for him (holding his posters,pins) infront of schools voting station
    The opponent didn’t even put any poster in the street,and he won.

    Khouri should stick to sports,he can stop playing in the dawri,this is his right

    BUT lets go back to the original issue : RACIST CHANT,EXCESSIVE FORCE on WEHDAT FANS ONLY
    That is the issue,while everyone tries to make it as:Angry Khouri who lost the elections is enjoying it!

    RAcist Chants, Wehdat fans always end up being beaten (they are no angels,like all other fans) but?

  • Yes Nas ,the khoury vs. majali debate on aljazeera.
    iam still waiting 4 ur article ,you always say whats on my mind ,i want 2 see this time are we still on the same page?

  • @nas
    Majali “his background gives him credibility in the sense that he doesn’t come off as a government stooge placed to defend the state”

    You’re so wrong!!

    When Tareq spoke about armen and Sharkas he meant they are from a different race and we ,JOs n PALs, are from the same race .

    East Jordanians have been stripped from their last piece of cloths and are now totally naked and facing the mirror, and each other! Especially the intellectuals who are having “a moment of truth” state of mind, they can’t oppose human rights and they can’t go against their constituency .

  • @watani

    what made all the trouble was not Tareq Khori it was the VIDEO that showed the horrible events.

    Alfaisaly club president said he will act the same way had his supporters faced the same treatment.

    Trying to promote the idea that Tareq Khouri made TROUBLE shows your fear of jordanians from palestinian origin asking for their rights. This episode of silencing the victim has happened before and is totally undemocratic. Your enemy is Israel not your fellow citizens.

    The good news is, we will never again witness any Wehdat and Faisaly incidents again as the government and security forces learned a good lesson.

  • @zizo: “You’re so wrong!!” …well this is more a matter of opinion but majali is not someone i would consider to be a government stooge and has gotten in trouble for many of the critical things he’s written.

    as for “east jordanians”. i think whatever “kind of” jordanian we are talking about, we need to be careful with the abhorrent exaggerations that these type of situations tend to induce.

    “Trying to promote the idea that Tareq Khouri made TROUBLE shows your fear of jordanians from palestinian origin asking for their rights.”

    i think this is a ludicrous statement – and an offensive on at that. you’re basically saying that anyone who disagrees with khoury’s actions or statements is by default anti-palestinian, or racist in anyway.

    this is an issue that extends beyond a single man, who, yes, whether you like it or not, played a big role in inflaming the situation just as the videos did.

    but this is about a nation and a people.

    you are constantly talking about jordanians of palestinian origin and labeling them strictly as victims (which is far from the truth and you know that) but when you call on equality it must come hand in hand with unity. stop putting us in brackets….this only serves to divide. no matter what our origin is, we are a single people working for a single nation.

  • @Nas
    Majali’s role in the interview was very obvious but this is not the issue..

    “you are constantly talking about jordanians of palestinian origin and labeling them strictly as victims (which is far from the truth and you know that) but when you call on equality it must come hand in hand with unity. stop putting us in brackets….this only serves to divide. no matter what our origin is, we are a single people working for a single nation.”

    How can I argue with you when you refuse to admit there is a problem?! when you insist on putting your head in the sand. Well who is the victim then if not JOPALS ?… you?
    You talk about having a “conversation” and all that sweet talk while you choose not to be democratic and refuse to acknowledge my existence as a citizen ?! That’ll be a conversation with your self.

    The video “inflamed” the world while Tareq Khouri’s remarks “inflamed” the minds of East JOs who don’t want any one to put the spot light on the biggest problem Jordan faces ..and until then (East JOs recognizing the problem and stop putting people in brackets) there is no solution and definitely no conversation.

  • Hosting Al-Majali in that interview was a big mistake. I think it would have been better to have someone from the darak themselves be there to keep the discussion focused on what happened to the fans BEFORE anybody said anything about what happened and what was supposed to be the focus of the discussion and all discussions we are engaged in now.

    Of course, it should come as no surprise that such a match up cannot produce the kind of debate around Jordan’s identity issue that Naseem has blogged about recently. On one hand, Tarek Khoury is not in a good position to start talking about topics of national identity, and he knew that, which is why he wasn’t able to call Al-Majali on any single piece of bullshit that came out of his mouth.

    Al-Majali on the other hand, didn’t even touch on the topic. All he did was express his belief that Khoury had referred to the darak forces as “Jews” and his opinion that Khoury deserved to go to the security court for doing so. Focusing on an alleged act by one person hardly qualifies for the kind of open debate we would like to see take place in this country. Worse yet, Al-Majali denied there is even any issue about identity and citizenship in Jordan, and to the uninformed viewer of the program, it would have seemed that Jordan had been a country living in piece and harmony until some soccer club president invented some problem and caused a massive split with just a couple of words.

    The outcome? Everybody is talking about that interview between those two guys, but no one is talking about the way security forces handled the crowd after the game, and the fact that this was a repeat incident for them. The darak are happy as the official results of the “investigation” will probably come out a year from now when everybody has forgotten about this as they continue to live their lives in a quasi-stable society.

    I said this before to someone and will say it here again. Jordan is not OK, we are not alright. There is a structural problem in our society (and economy) that will continue to grow slowly, and if we keep ignoring them, we will wake up one day to a country that looks like today’s Iraq and Lebanon. Those who are interested in maintaining the status quo cannot see this, and they keep saying “our country is safe, it’s stable, look at what’s happening in Iraq and Lebanon.” They don’t know that that’s where we will be a decade or so from now if this sort of stuff keeps happening.

  • tarq is no politician,he’s not taking this professionally
    someone else,smarter,wiser could have made a big name,lead a movement,not only a football club
    disappointed

  • @zizo:

    “How can I argue with you when you refuse to admit there is a problem?! when you insist on putting your head in the sand. Well who is the victim then if not JOPALS ?… you?
    You talk about having a “conversation” and all that sweet talk while you choose not to be democratic and refuse to acknowledge my existence as a citizen ?! That’ll be a conversation with your self.”

    first of all. i have never said there isn’t a problem. i have always pointed out these problems consistently and constantly. to think and say that i do or act otherwise is to either intentionally put words in my mouth or simply be deaf, blind and dumb to all that is precedent. probably all of the above.

    second of all, just because i am an “east banker” does not mean i represent the jordanian state or create its public policy – so stop saying that im “choosing” not “to be democratic” or refusing to “acknowledge your existence” as a citizen. these are ludicrous statements that strip your arguments bare of all credibility.

    third. in any situation where there is a need to move forward, there is a need to start with having a conversation and a national dialog. this is what i feel is necessary and what i feel needs to be done. and in doing so, we need to step away from these idiotic calls of victimization. this is the same flame-throwing rhetoric that khoury has used to “prove a point” and it is even the same rhetoric used in different contexts, i.e. the arab-israeli conflict. the latter has established a 60 year legacy of being rhetoric that not only doesn’t work – it is absolutely counter-productive and works against the best interest of the very people who insist to define their existence as victims.

    in jordan, all citizens are equal under the constitution and under the law. this is ingrained in the political and legislative framework of the country. however, the problem is that it is not ingrained within our social fabric. that is where work needs to be done.

    and within that conversation forcing the element of victimization does no good.

    “The video “inflamed” the world while Tareq Khouri’s remarks “inflamed” the minds of East JOs who don’t want any one to put the spot light on the biggest problem Jordan faces ..and until then (East JOs recognizing the problem and stop putting people in brackets) there is no solution and definitely no conversation.”

    ok, let’s set something straight. the video did not “inflame” the world. it hardly made a blip on the radar. it barely made news in the region for more than a day or two. the only place it really mattered, and more importantly, the only place it should matter is here at home.

    second. again, you speak in generalizations. by throwing around these generalized labels of “east jordanians” you are implying all of us are in the same boat and all of us are represented by the darak and thus all of us are help accountable for the actions of a few. this is the exact same rhetoric (once again) that the west uses to categorize the east in an orientalist context of “all muslims are terrorists”

    it is a fallacy. in other words, it is an argument that lacks the basic structure of an actual argument. to say that some muslims have committed terrorist acts; therefore all muslims are terrorists, is the same to me as saying some east bankers are not fond of west bankers; therefore all east bankers are anti-palestinian. i think such thinking is non-representatives of most people living in this country, otherwise we’d be living in quite different conditions.

    lastly, throwing around ultimatums to the hosting of a conversation is, simply put, reckless and counter-productive. this is a conversation that is meant to establish resolution, and resolution is something that transpires between two groups in disagreement. you cannot say “until you agree with us and love us and take us all out to dinner, and and…i refuse to talk to you”…because then there’s no reason to have resolution in the first place.

  • @Nas. Khoury has his own stupid agenda. If you think some one like him is
    going to solve the problem, you are mistaken my friend. Please dont give him
    more than he is worth.

  • i hit my face over why this turned into tark this&that
    racist chant,abusive darak,journalist making tark a scape goat or a distraction from the main,serious issue
    tark is not diplomatic,or thinks of the long run,but he got balls&respect for his club,i give him that
    watani,u remind me of this funny guy who goes on tark fb page and writes ملوخياتك وعلى الجسر

  • @Nas

    You’re contradicting yourself..
    First you say you acknowledge there’s a problem then you say JoPals are not the victim..Could you please define the problem?

    “in jordan, all citizens are equal under the constitution and under the law. this is ingrained in the political and legislative framework of the country. however, the problem is that it is not ingrained within our social fabric. that is where work needs to be done. ”

    You have no idea what you’re talking about ! JoPals do not have their political rights..It doesn’t matter what the law says it’s what’s being done on the ground. It became a social problem after it was a political issue.

    Nas
    It seems I got you a bit upset to refer to my statements as idiotic and ludicrous,is that your idea of starting a “conversation”? What happened to facts, common sense and scientific evidence?

    I mean I can prove without a shadow of a doubt how JoPals are being discriminated against , just like any researcher or truth seeker can, the evidence is simply overwhelming. Show us what you have against it, what’s your argument? Give us the facts…If you can.Do you have anything to say other than ” Let’s have a conversation and be merry”? ( Please re-read my old replies about having a “conversation”, I don’t want to repeat my self).

    Finally, it seems that the whole world knows and acknowledges the problem except….you guessed it! I wonder why!

  • I don’t see Watani writers talk about this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WUdbdazS2E
    طوشة السلطية والحمايدة في الجامعة الاردنية

    but when it’s wehdat or tark khoury,they never stop,and Wehdat fans are to be blamed

  • @Watani
    Hahahaha Funny
    Khoury paid the Darak to beat the #%#@# out of the Wehdati so he can say few words in a moment of anger
    For what I know,those corrupts,stealing the public money,getting rich,not from their parents,those men who insitualized the divide in all the official positions, to the point you hear Faysali fans chanting for Sharon and calling for the destruction of the Aqsa mosque,these are worst than the Mosad

Your Two Piasters: