Not content with nearly dying at The Australia vs. Jordan football game a few days before, when protests at the American made idiotic, offensive and inflamatory “Innocence Of Muslims” YouTube film erupted across the Muslim world, I thought…………
“Hey!, I’m in a Muslim country, why don’t I go down to the U.S. Embassy?”……..
So, just before the end of Friday prayers I found myself outside the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan (one of the largest U.S. Embassies in the middle East).
The Police presence was huge and intimidating, armored vehicles and hundreds of officers in full riot gear formed a perimeter around the embassy and many more Police were on hand to ensure the protest here did not end up like those in other countries in the region.
(It’s worth noting that not just at the protest but the whole time I was in Jordan the Police were some of the nicest I have ever met anywhere in the world. Usually not my favorite people (somewhere on my shit list between rapists and child pornographers) they were polite, courteous and at no point did I see any displays of unnecessary force which the police in the rest of the world seem to think is acceptable behavior. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, just that in a month there I didn’t witness it or hear of it from anyone.)
Soon after Friday prayers ended at the Mosque up the road people started arriving and the crowd began to swell. Banners were hoisted and chanting began – “Death to America” and “Allah hu Akbar” being the only ones I actually understood. Even at it’s most crowded point there was maybe only 150-200 protestors there and although the anger was very real, almost disappointingly, I never felt in any danger. Sure there were a few dirty looks from the obviously more hard line elements, but not a single rock was thrown ;)
It’s difficult not to feel some empathy with these protestors, especially the ones in Amman who remained non-violent.
If a Muslim made a similar film about Jesus then I’m sure the Christian right in America would be equally outraged, and that’s even before we take into account the bombing and killing of innocent civilians that’s been perpetrated by the U.S. and it’s allies in the region and beyond.
What happened in Benghazi cannot in any way shape or form be condoned but the demonization of the entire Muslim world by the West and it’s media can’t be either.
It bears repeating that “one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter”
Be sure to check out the other posts in the Jordan series:-