Jordan’s new smart IDs will no longer indicate the cardholder’s religion.
Smart IDs that don’t indicate the holder’s religion are now replacing traditional IDs in Jordan as part of the government’s digitisation program, reports Al Bawaba. Jordanian smart IDs will include data chips containing background information about holder for security purposes.
The move drew criticism from the country’s conservatives who argue that ditching religion from national IDs violates article one of the Jordanian constitution, which declares Islam the state religion – most notably Former MP Zakaria El Sheikh who called the decision an attempt to “strip the country of its Muslim identity.” In response, lawyer Taghrid Doghmy fired back saying the decision was in compliance with the constitution, which stipulates that all citizens are equal under the law, and argues that not specifying a person’s religious views on national ID cards could eliminate religious discrimination.
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Al-Qaeda flags have been raised in Maan, where residents say they are tired of police brutality and a lack of services.
By Areej Abuqudairi
Maan, Jordan – This southern city – known for violence, riots, and clashes – received worldwide attention last week when new chants and flags were raised, alarming Jordanian authorities.
Dozens of men carried a banner calling the southern city the “Fallujah of Jordan”. Waving al-Qaeda flags as they chanted sectarian-inspired slogans, they celebrated the military gains of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) – the group that has since re-named itself the Islamic State – in neighbouring Iraq.
Security officials immediately summoned the protest’s organiser, Issam Abu Darwish, a 38-year-old engineer working for Maan’s municipality, for investigation; his family said they have not heard from him since. Abu Darwish’s brother, Ahed, said his brother organised the march in support of Sunni Muslims that are oppressed in Iraq.
Read more » Aljazeera
– MICHAEL SLACKMAN
CAIRO — Military troops opened fire on protesters in the southern part of Syria on Friday, according to news reports quoting witnesses, hurtling the strategically important nation along the same trajectory that has altered the landscape of power across the Arab world.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators in the southern city of Dara’a, on the border with Jordan, and in some other cities and towns around the nation took to the streets in protest, defying a state that has once again demonstrated its willingness to use lethal force. It was the most serious challenge to 40 years of repressive rule by the Assad family since 1982, when the president at the time, Hafez al-Assad, massacred at least 10,000 protesters in the northern Syrian city of Hama. …
Read more : Wichaar
U.S. academic Richard Falk spoke to UN Human Rights Council as it prepared resolution condemning settlement building in East Jerusalem and West Bank.
Israel’s expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and eviction of Palestinians from their homes there is a form of ethnic cleansing, a United Nations investigator said on Monday.
United States academic Richard Falk was speaking to the UN Human Rights Council as it prepared to pass resolutions condemning settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The “continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with the forcible eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation” in the part of the city previously controlled by Jordan, he said.
This situation “can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing,” Falk declared. …
Read more : Haaretz
– Behind the Arab revolt lurks a word we dare not speak
BY John Pilger
The people of Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and Libya are rising up not only against their leaders, but also western economic tyranny. …
Read more : NewStatesman
Mubarak’s departure marks the end of an era for Egypt
If real reforms are achieved, Egypt will have witnessed a real revolution – and its impact will be felt across the Middle East
by Ian Black
Hosni Mubarak’s dramatic departure marks the end of an era for Egypt and the Middle East. Thirty years of his rule has left a deep impression on his country’s domestic affairs and external relations. Without him, much could change on many fronts — at home and across the region. …
Read more : Guardian.co.uk
Written by: VOA
Demonstrators in Jordan say they are preparing for more protests. Massive demonstrations inspired by unrest in Tunisia have shaken what historically has been one of the most stable nations in the Middle East and raised questions about the future role of the country’s popular monarch. Some protesters in last Friday’s demonstration waved pieces of bread.
It is rising food prices, unemployment, and anger over corruption that prompted thousands to take to the streets of Amman last week. …
Read more : EurasiaReview