It was with great horror that I managed to read through an op-ed piece in the Sunday edition of Al-Ghad newspaper, where regular columnist Hamadeh Faraneh attempted to initiate, what can best be described as, a â€œdefenseâ€ of Dr. Bassem Awadallah. Sadly, this was done in the worst possible way. Referring to the recent passing of Dr. Bassem’s mother (God rest her soul), Faraneh attempted to point out that the large number of Jordanians attending the traditional three-day wake (or what he calls the â€œsilent majorityâ€) used this “opportunity” as a “platform” to express their support of Awadallah in light of the most recent “defamation” campaign against him. Faraneh also claimed that this support by the “silent majority” emanates from the level of trust and confidence Jordanians place in His Majesty King Abdullah II and, therefore, anyone who enjoys the King’s confidence is, by default, someone we should all have confidence in as well.
Reading this piece was kind of like watching a car crash in slow-motion.
I don’t want to point out the obvious fallacies littered throughout this op-ed, but would rather like to inquire as to what could possibly compel anyone to play politics with the death of someone’s parent? This is no more an opportunity for the “critics” to attack than it is for “friends” to defend.
This isn’t about law or politics.
It’s about common human decency, unless someone convinces me that this is something that gets waived if someone is a senior public official.
As Nadal Dabbas and Mohammad Abu-Rumman respond to this piece, putting politics and personal perspectives aside to pay respects to a man and family in mourning is part of what makes us Jordanian. It is embedded in our culture and in our tradition. It’s not designed to be a political litmus test for how many people like or dislike someone based on the number of attendees. That’s not something I would upon the worst of my enemies or the best of my friends. It’s tradition. All feuds are put aside in the name of one of our most fundamental social obligations.
Whichever way you see it, politicizing a funeral, in whatever capacity, is simply put: un-Jordanian.