The recent slaughter in Amman enacted by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has raised pertinent questions among Jordan’s population, who may support Zarqawi’s violence against Americans but fail to see how he can justify the slaughter of dozens of Jordanian Muslims. Predictably, those unwilling to honestly address the inherent hypocrisy of mass-murdering terrorists have turned to a familiar target for their blame: Israel. From The New York Times:
The Maktoum Mosque was crowded with worshipers for Friday Prayer as the imam sharply criticized the suicide attacks on three hotels in Amman, saying those who committed the crimes were not Muslims, no matter what they called themselves.
The scene Friday night in Zarqa near a family home and former residence, left, of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, chief of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
Afterward, on the street, people agreed that whoever committed such an act could not be a Muslim. But many meant this literally, that the attack must have been carried out by outsiders, namely Israeli agents.
“Who said it is them?” asked Ahmed al-Zawahrah, referring to claims that members of a radical Islamic group were behind the blasts. “It could be Israel.”
Zarqa is the birthplace of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. His relatives and neighbors prayed in the mosque, so one could imagine that it might be especially hard for them to accept that Mr. Zarqawi had taken responsibility for killing so many civilians. But the sentiment heard here is echoed across this country and region.
While most Arabs have long viewed Israel as their enemy, the extent to which Israel weighs on the regional psyche and diverts attention away from social, political, religious and economic issues that cannot be ignored, many social and political analysts say. Blaming Israel is not just a knee jerk, they say; for many Arabs, it is their reality.
“People don’t blame Israel out of a vacuum,” said Rami Khoury, a Jordanian political commentator and writer based in Lebanon. “There is a very strong historical reason, because Israel has caused a lot of grief for Arab people one way or another.”