Finding it hard to believe

HajjajBlogger Hareega drew my attention to Hajjaj’s latest cartoon, which I found both powerful and disturbing. In the cartoon dubbed "That’s how the world sees us," the renowned Jordanian cartoonist Imad Hajjaj refers to the findings of three recent polls conducted in Jordan:

1) 77% of the Jordanian population fear criticizing the government in public
2) 66% support Al-Qaeda
3) 87% approve of wife-beating

I do not know how scientific these polls are but I find the results hard to believe. While I believe the results of the first poll might somehow be accurate, I think the findings of the last two polls are exaggerated. I know my people, this can’t be true!

14 thoughts on “Finding it hard to believe”

  1. Natasha, you and I and people we associate with are only one section of the society. I personally make a choice not to associate with people who beat their wives and think that Al Qaeda is great. Yet I acknowledge that these mentalities exist. So your exclamation “I know my people” may not be entirely accurate.
    I would like to believe that these polls were conducted in a scietific manner; so far I have no reason to doubt otherwise.

  2. Natasha,
    I cant believe that you cant believe these findings?
    LEt me clearly state that I do not agrre with these results in the sense that I find the results to be true, but I personally would not aggree to the questions.
    Unfortunately, as long as the Kingdom of Jordan keeps its government running the way it is now, then JOrdanians will fear critisizing their government. This is not a surprise. For goodness sakes many of the bloggers were talking about how they would not care about their freedoms in Jordan just as long their government protects them from terrorism. I truly believe Jordanians care more about their safety then they do about their freedoms, which is very unfortunate. Even JOrdanian Americans In Los Angeles do not bother to speak up and play an active role in their community, unlike the many Syrians and Lebanese in Los Angeles.
    I do not know what it is, but tis is like the royal family has this hold on the jordanian people. it is so funny when i see family members talk about things they were not happy with in Jordan, yet when the kings name or any one in his family is mentioned their faces light up with joy and they say the greatest things about them, some things undeserved. And the thing that ticks me off the most is that this type of mentality is taken with them when they leave Jordan and come to America. So many of my relatives believe they shoudl never criticize the American government. For gosh sakes that is what makes us American.
    Any how, I am for one not surprised at all at these results. King Abdullah needs to make a change in his government or these are they type of results we will always see. Why not make it like England? I wonder…

  3. why natasha, dont forget that 90% of the people are not like us or have had the privileged life that we have…

  4. I think that the cartoon meant to be satirical and not necessarily a factual one, it attempts perpetuates the notion that people are still scared of their government in Jordan, yet, they do support alQaeda, of course covertly. As for the women being battered by their spouses it sounds very close to the truth, just look at the annual honor crime statistics report and draw your own conclusion. I think that women still have a long way to go before they can even claim to have inched any closer to getting their full fledged civil rights in Jordan. Women are still deprived of their children in the event of a divorce or extended separation, and women can’t grant their children the Jordanian citizenship if the father of the children is not of Jordanian origins. I don’t know now but some time ago the woman in Jordan couldn’t have her own passport to travel outside Jordan without her husband give hear a permission to do so. So in essence, while the cartoon meant to be satirical in nature, it has a whiff of truth to it, albeit an exaggerated one.

  5. Why wouldn’t 87 percent of Jordanians approve of wife beating when it is authorized in the Koran?
    Koran 4:34 Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; God is All-high, All-great (see

  6. Nataha: Beleive these polls. I know you’d rather not. But I think the numbers are quite accurate (I can’t cite sources though). I really liked this cartoon. It’s a sign that we’re starting to face up to the fact that we are a bit screwed up in Jordan. We live in safety from war and terror yet watch al jazeera as if we’re watching a football match. Dozens of Jordanian lawyers came forward to defend Saddam. Weird but true.

  7. And on the 373rd day Natasha surveyed her creation. And her creation was good.
    I shall name you – Good people of the Jordan for I know you. You are my people.
    And the people were good.

  8. Hi Natasha, i made a quick reply in my blog. Anyway Jordanians and Arabs in general in a way responded well to George Bush’s messages “you’re either with us or against us”. People had the choice of either supporting Bush or Al qaeda…. and they cannot support Bush’s regime because they believe he’s bombing iraq for oil. When a regular jordanian mentions he supports al qaeda it’s a way of mentioning that he hates the american governemnt. If someone really support al qaeda and their ideology he’d go and join wherever they are , and unfortunately some of them did do that, but they’re very very few people.

  9. Hareega said:
    >When a regular jordanian mentions he supports
    >al qaeda it’s a way of mentioning that he hates
    >the american governemnt.
    Yeah. Right. And when they say they support suicide bombings(61%) they are saying teh same thing, eh?
    >If someone really support al qaeda and their
    >ideology he’d go and join wherever they are
    Nut, you just said *you* support Al Qaeda and their ideology, did you not? Why ahve you not gone and joined them? You seem to be trying to draw a line between supporters of terrorism and terrorists. They are not the same, it’s true, but it’s a symbiotic realationship that you can’t right off so easily. If people like you didn’t support the cause of terrorism, terrorism wouldn’t exist.
    Thank you, by the way, for pointing out that there are, indeed, people who answer YES to those questions in Jordan! I’ve seen many people on Jordanian blogs who make it quite clear in their comments that there are also in that category, though you have to read between the lines (like I just did with you) to see it. I guess when answering poll questions, people don’t need to disguise their true feelings, right?
    Look back at some of the commenst on Natasha’s blog. There are plenty of people who comment here, who answered “yes” on those poll questions. Natasha may be choosing not to see the truth that’s in front of her eyes. I have a tendency to do that as well.

  10. Craig, you’re too sensitive buddy, i don’t know where did u reach such conclsuions from. I feel bad when i see my people saying they support al qaeda but al-qaeda’s ideology is to leave whatever you have in your hands (college, work, family) and go to carry “jehad-holy war” against americans. If someone truly supported that ideology he’d do the same and luckily enough nobody does.
    Much of the crap Arabs are living in is attributed to brainswashing by religious scholars all over Arab countries, and those scholars and fundementalists have been supported by the US all thru the 70s and 80s in different Arab countries. I find the US politicians partially responsible for what’s going on in our countries.
    Yes those who support terrorists are also responsible for what they’re saying, but terrorists care less about polls or what people think of them. IF the poll said only 1% of Muslims support al qaeda you wouldn’t expect them to surrender and stop planning for futher attacks. Know your enemy man!
    It took decades to strengthen those terrorists and decades to build up their weapons, and decades for people to start supporting them (in the 60s most arabs would have looked at al qaeda as psychos), so it will also take a long time till Arabs and Muslims start having second thoughts about the real goals of al-qaeda, i can see that many Arabs and Muslims have started to.

  11. Not for a goddamn meal

    Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Leila Hamarneh, the projects director of the Arab Women Organization.
    In the course of the conversation, a controversial report on wife beating published by the Jordan’s National Family Council was mentioned as…

  12. natasha,
    i was a dentist in jordan ,then i came to the us and iam a student now in colorado uni. international program to get my license .i have seen the difference . i don`t know if you would believe it, but i think the no. of cases of domestic violence directed mainly against women is at least a 100 folds more here in the us comparing to jordan .forget about the laws and all other stuff,and just look at the end result!
    by the way ,
    great web site
    best wishes

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