Plans to establish Jordan’s first Shia mosque underway

According to a report published on Alarabiya’s website, some Iraqi businessmen are planning to build Jordan’s first Shia mosque in Amman’s Abdoun neighborhood on land worth more than 3 million US dollars. The article states that these businessmen approached Jordan’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs to get approval for building the mosque. The ministry hasn’t confirmed this report yet. The article also went on to say that a number of Shia in Jordan are working to establish an organization called Imam Al Hussein organization.

Interesting! The Shia population in Jordan is very small, almost unnoticeable as according to this report, Jordan’s Sunnis constitute 95% of the population. Since Jordan is currently moving down the path of reform, then I believe religious tolerance should be part of the package. I know this might be a sensitive topic in Jordan, but in my humble opinion I think allowing different religious denominations a place for their particular place of worship is a real strong step in the right direction.

17 thoughts on “Plans to establish Jordan’s first Shia mosque underway”

  1. Well …
    First, in terms of religious freedoms, it will be a lot tougher after the attacks, especially on the Muslim community, and especially (i emphasize) on Islamic charities. Also you won’t be seeing a hindu temple anytime soon, it will stick to christian and islamic i.e. state recognised religions, instead, which is fine with me.
    Second, dont quote me on this just because im keraki, but I believe Jordan has a shia’ mosque in kerak and it’s rather big. So it wont be jordan’s first
    Third, while the population is overwhelmingly sunni, there are 500,000 Iraqis in the country and I’m guessing a portion of them is shia’, I saw a group of them praying at the Kathem mosque in Dayer Ighbar last summer.
    Fourth, the sunni vs. shia’ thing is practically non existant in Jordan. The sunnis in Jordan are probably the most moderate in the Muslim world or at least the Arab world in the sense that we dont have that takfiri mindset of “if you dont believe my Islam you are not a Muslim”, which resonates in the gulf countries where the shia’ are oppressed.
    Fifth, bigger news than this mosque is being reported and I was suprised that you didn’t blog it Natasha. The Jordanian government has given its approval to the Coptic Orthodox bishop in Amman for the establishment of a church court for the Coptic community in Jordan.

  2. Dear Nas,
    Thank you for drawing my attention to the establishment of the church court for the Coptic community in Jordan.. Where can I find this report? Somehow I missed it. I’d appreciate it if you can provide me with a link for the story. I’m very interested in it.
    Shia mosque in Karak? That’s interesting, so you think the reporter who wrote the article got it wrong. If we can prove it maybe we should send Alrabiya an e-mail or something.

  3. Religious-wise I don’t think Sunnis would object building a Shia mosque. Some have hard feeling because of what’s going on in Iraq, but it’s political.
    The number of Shiites in Jordan is increasing (because of the increasing number of Iraq) however there is almost no Jordanina Shiites, and there’a difference. Sine none of Jordanian sare Shiites, no Shiie will hold any political or governmental position in Jordan, so we won’t have any of the tension they have in IRaq.
    Finally, the Shiite’s religious freedom was suppressed under Saddam’s rule and the contributes to their uprise in Iraq. Nothing like that happened in Jordan, it was never an issue.

  4. Ok, in Mazar Al-Sharif (kerak) there is of course the Sahaba (Prophet’s Companions) Shrines Complex which has all the burried companions who were martyred during the Muta battle (there is actually a famous modern day keraki ghost story about this but thats for another time). Of the companions is of the famous Jafar Al-Tayar, who is of importance in the shia’ sect.
    The shia’ of iraq and iran like to visit these shrines so the jordanian government has been recently rennovating the area for the increased tourism. They are paying millions to build a huge building there that has a museum and what not. There’s a deal signed some time ago with the Iranian government to accomodate their shia’ tourists.
    See the last time I was there was at least 5 years ago where I saw many shia’ at the mosque, I concluded this must be a mosque for them.
    I’ve asked a contact in the government who said plainly there hasn’t been a shia’ mosque because there have never been enough shia’ in the country. Although now with the Iraqis and the war, things have become a little long term.

  5. Well, it’s not that the government is being too kind!It’s the Shiitte’s right, wither they are Jordanians or residence(Iraqis) of Jordan!
    I hope that it won’t turn like Iraq’s Shiite mosques….u know,the civil war between “Arab Sunni” and “Iraqi Shiite” won’t shift to our grounds.
    [Arab Sunni is what the media refers to Iraqi Sunnis,though they insist on using ARab Sunni and Iraqi Shiite, makes u wonder?]

  6. Its about time. Anyways, i think the number of Jordanian Christians is always for some reason shown as smaller that it really is. I figured they would ban religion after this whole november 11 thing but i guess i was wrong.

  7. I think this is good news, if the Ministry approves it. Of course, ideas of religious pluralism should be more attentive to other groups and not just to intra-Islamic currents, but I guess something like this is at least a first step.

  8. I live in the US. The simple fact that this is seen as “reform” is amazing to me. If you live in a predominately Muslim nation, it makes perfect sense that Islam will prevail as the predominate religion.
    Now lets look at the reality on the ground in a predominate Muslim nation. Islam has suffocated all other religions through Islam’s political doctrine. Islam has never learned to play well with others. It can’t. It must dominate per it’s doctrine!

  9. At least there is religious freedom in Jordan,unlike other countries in the region.In Saudi Arabia it’s illegal to have a Bible or a crucifix,though a Saudi can build a mosque here in the US with no intereference from the government,other than zoning laws.And a radical cleric can preach an anti-US message in that mosque because of our right of free speech.I think Bush overlooked Saudi when he compiled his list of states that sponsor terrorism and deny human rights.
    Excuse me while I go fill up my gas tank with some of that Saudi petrol…

  10. Hi Dan,
    Well Jordan is not to be compared to Saudi Arabia!
    The whole area of the Levant (Syria,Lebanon,Jordan,historical Palestine)and add to that Egypt,Iraq…had always a prominant number of Christians, those were the inhabitant of these countries, and they had their own countries and communties established before Islam came in!Today these Christians are
    influential in their home countries!We are not a minortiy that has immigrated to a muslim country, and they are being nice to us?!We were here since the dawn of history.
    Muslims in Jordan are generally moderate
    Muslims in Jordan are generally moderate, of course I should mention that many of the past generations, wither Christians or Muslims were leaning towards secularism (eastren camp,commies)
    You have to realize that Jordanians differs from Saudi Arabians!There are so much differencies,culture,history,idealogies,etc

Comments are closed.