Protests Across the Country and the Regime’s Future

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Protests Across the Country and the Regime's Future

Jordanian Prime Minister Dr Hani al Mulki has, as expected, tendered the resignation of his cabinet to King Abdullah II, at the behest of the king himself, in the wake of the widespread protests that engulfed the country after al Mulki’s government had adopted a draft income tax law and announced new price increases to fuel and electricity. The government had claimed that the changes would improve public services whereas, in fact, they were but an extension of the economic and financial policies pursued by the regime, especially the policy of complying to the dictates of the IMF, which has plunged the country into debts, and the policy of squandering the sources of revenue and the properties of the state and the Ummah. The increased will go towards paying the interest and the instalments of those loans.

The austerity measures that add insult to injury to the underprivileged citizens have come thick and fast in the past few months starting with increasing the price of bread, raising the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT), adopting the draft income tax bill and ending with increasing the prices of fuel and electricity, which were frozen after the king eventually intervened to freeze them.

Some of the protests were also directed at the king who was held responsible for the corruption and the wretched economic situation since he had been protecting the clique of corrupt officials and appointing the successive prime ministers. Some protesters called for the prime minister to be elected by the masses. What is remarkable is the absence of any confrontational scenes between the authorities and the protesters; this indicates that the regime is attempting to mollify and steer the masses through its tools from among the various organisations and movements, not to mention the king’s awareness that his popularity has been dwindling since the masses have become mindful of the reality and the corruption of his regime, and even his continuous custodianship of corrupt officials.

It seems the aforementioned austerity measures that had been a strong impetus for the popular protests were not merely a solution conjured up by the government of al-Mulki, and which weighed heavily on people’s standard of living amid a wretched economic situation. They are rather the echoes of foreign dictates and pressures, such as the deliberate move by the Gulf States and the Donor States to reduce their shoring-up of the Jordanian budget, the growing burden of servicing the national debt due to the accumulating loans which triggered several dictates from the IMF to remove the subsidies on basic goods, and preventing Jordanian goods from reaching certain markets.

Remarkably and despite the evident lukewarm relations between Jordan and the Gulf States, especially Saudi, King Abdullah has remarkably been contacted by Saudi crown prince, the UAE and the Egyptian president soon after the resignation of al-Mulki. Such reassuring contacts with the king by the US puppets and at this delicate stage could only be interpreted as a reward for something that had been concluded and pleased the American administration, who must have instructed those puppets to hasten their contact with King Abdullah and express their support.

Hence, the king must have made some political concessions. Some of these concessions may have included the structure of the regime following the economic pressures that had been exerted and which had triggered the protests. If this is the case, the impact of those concessions will unfold in the forthcoming phase.

Some observers may wonder why the American administration is exerting pressure on the king if he is proceeding according to its instructions. In fact, when their competencies are compromised, or when their survival is threatened, collaborators tend to undertake all the actions aimed at averting the threat, be it through deviousness or feet-dragging, in the hope of a change occurring or persuading their masters to change their mind, and the like.

King Abdullah, like the other rulers of the region, is used to having all the ruling competencies under his control; and it is only natural for him to attempt to dissuade the Americans from twisting his arm into making political concessions that would downsize his role, or dissuade them from pondering over the possibility of getting rid of him.

The return of the Gulf State and the Donor States to backing Jordan and the possibility of opening the markets before Jordanian goods, as well as injecting fresh investments in Jordan as the cabinet of the somewhat popular al-Razzaz has taken office, all these are signs corroborating that an undeclared deal between the US administration and the Jordanian king has been concluded which necessitated a host of concessions from the king. The pressures exerted on Jordan, be it the masses or the regime, are instigated by America and her agents in the region in order to effectuate the section of the so-called “Deal of the Century” relevant to Jordan. As for the other pressures, they are reflected in the statement made by the king at a press conference; commenting on the current crisis the king said the country was at a crossroads. This statement came as certain American circles talked about the need to do away with the Hashemite rule once and for all and move towards a Republican ruling system. This would make the issue of turning the current ruling system into a constitutional monarchy, whereby the king would reign but not rule and a prime minister with wider competencies would be elected and be deemed as seem the lesser of the two evils as far as King Abdullah is concerned.

Dear Muslims in Jordan,

Is it not high time you revolted to salvage the authority from the criminal and corrupt officials who have humiliated and impoverished the country and the masses?

Is it not time your great Islam became the alternative to the secularist dilapidated regimes?

Corruption stems from the capitalist foundation upon which the Jordanian regime is built; this regime makes the poor poorer and the rich richer.

Zakat in Islam is levied from the rich and distributed among the poor; it is the opposite of the Value Added Tax (VAT) taken from the poor to be given to the rich. Incidentally, if the bulk of the Zakat funds were collected in a system based on Islam, it would provide a country like Jordan more than what the notorious VAT would.

As for the Kharaj revenues, which are part of the State’s funds in Islam, it used to be in excess of the expenditures of the Wilayah of Jordan during the tenures of several Khulafa’. Besides, implementing Islam would turn minerals such as potassium and phosphate a public property rather than the property of a company whose funds are pocketed by a clique of corrupt individuals.

Dear Muslims in Jordan,

It is high time we realised that our future would not be better than our current situation as long as these regimes continue to collaborate with the criminal colonialist capitalist West. There is no guarantee that economic and financial situation would improve if the masses did not take control of their resources and in the absence of a system guaranteeing a fair distribution of wealth, namely the system of Islam. Hence, it is imperative to insist on regaining the authority the West has usurped from us and handed it over to its watchdogs to protect its interests. Changing governments would not bring about any change as long as the system remains corrupt. We ought to perceive that those rulers would not bat an eyelid when it comes to squandering anything as long as the peak of our demands does not impact on the vital issue, namely the absence of Islam from the realm of life. This is what we must focus on once we recapture our authority from those watchdogs.

“But as for him who shall turn away from remembering Me - his shall be a life of narrow scope and on the Day of Resurrection We shall raise him up blind." [20-124]

Hizb-ut-Tahrir
Wilaya of Jordan
20 Ramadhan 1439
6 June 2018