'Lack of Democracy' Fuels Jordanian al-Qaeda Popularity?
While reading the latest Jerusalem Issue Brief by Nibras Kazimi, The Islamist Threat to Jordan, an interesting 2005 quote cited from London's al-Hayat newspaper appears, suggesting an interesting (if not intriguing) cause to the rise in popularity of al-Qaeda in Iraq within Jordan.
Yet, even if there is an identity void in Jordan, what indicators are there that the extremism of Zarqawi would be welcome among Jordanians? A feature story appeared in Al-Hayat newspaper in August 2005 that described the "legendary status" of Zarqawi even among the Western-educated elite. He was something of a "popular hero" among the youth, who were enamored of the fact that one of their own had been propelled to such international prominence in the "struggle" against the American "occupiers" in Iraq. The article suggested that a combination of poverty, corruption, and lack of democracy contributed to the gradual but perceptible movement of Jordanian society toward extremism. The same newspaper in February 2006 highlighted the popularity of songs and video CDs glorifying the "resistance" to foreign occupation in both Iraq and Palestine that included footage of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operations against Israeli targets, and titles such as "The Battle of Fallouja." These were briskly sold in downtown Amman, despite recurrent government raids aimed at confiscating them. In the time interval between these two features, Zarqawi struck at his home country. [Emphasis Added]
Interesting that, at least according to al-Hayat, the lack of democracy in Jordan fuels the popularity of anti-democratic Islamic groups like Zarqawi's AQIZ.
Still reading, but thought that noteworthy enough to share.