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An overview of anarchism in Jordan today

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | anarchist movement | news report author Thursday March 27, 2008 01:36author by hamza - jordanian anarchistsauthor email hamza_hhh at hotmail dot comauthor phone 00962788467931 Report this post to the editors

Anarchists in Jordan... theory and activites

Finally after more than 50 years of communist activism in Jordan the anarchists started to gather… Most Jordanian anarchists are artists who work in music, film-making, and graphic design, one of our comrades is finishing his master's in gender studies… some comrades are Jordanian and others are Palestinian refugees living in Jordan. [ Ελληνικά] [ Castellano] [ Italiano] [ Français] [Deutsch]


An overview of anarchism in Jordan today


Finally after more than 50 years of communist activism in Jordan the anarchists started to gather… Most Jordanian anarchists are artists who work in music, film-making, and graphic design, one of our comrades is finishing his master's in gender studies… some comrades are Jordanian and others are Palestinian refugees living in Jordan.

Most of us come from a Marxist background so theory has great importance for us…Two comrades finally found an Arabic book that talks about anarchism… actually we found three more books but with different Arabic words for “anarchism”

  1. Fawdawiya, which literally means chaotic
  2. La soltawiya, which literally means anti-authoritarianism
  3. Taharoriya, which literally means libertarianism
  4. Anarkeya, which literally means anarchism.
We also found Egyptian and Lebanese anarchist websites which were extremely helpful.

Until now we are about 20 comrades. I believe that there more anarchists in the country but it is hard to find them!

Lately, we became part of a bigger movement called the social left, which consists of Marxists, feminists and others. Despite the fact that the movement has more than 1,000 members, we anarchists have, relatively, a very strong influence and effect in/on the group. We meet in an Anti-globalization office in Jordan.

When we started reading, we looked for any form of anarchy in our own history and local culture. After reading a book called “Sufi tropics” written by an Iraqi writer (Hadi al Alawi), we found that Sufism is ALL ABOUT anarchism. Actually we found a website on the internet that talks about Sufi-anarchism… now most of us label themselves as Sufi anarchists. We even found Sufi anarchist movements and groups from the 8-16th centuries. So, after reading what we were able to find from Bakunin’s, Proudhon’s and Kropotkin’s books, and after studying the history of anarchy in Spain, Ukraine, Paris, Mexico… and after studying Sufism, we started to have our own understanding of anarchism.

others r messed up comrade of us even worked on his own understanding of sufi-anarchism in a way compatible with his own understanding of post-modernism and the fall of ideology or what he called nihilist Sufi anarchism (plz don’t ask me to explain!!!)

We heard about other groups in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine, but never met any of them.

Last week, a very important columnist wrote about us – anarchists – in the most popular newspaper in the country, after he saw our flag for the first time in a protest.

All political movements and parties in Jordan have a problem with numbers. Recruiting more people can be very difficult because most people are too afraid to participate.

In Jordan we still suffer expulsion from universities because of any political activities. Laws that are extremely hard to understand and interpret and which are used against political activists, like:
  • disturbing civil harmony!
  • bashing higher status!
  • long tongue!!!
  • copying without permission!
  • Unauthorized gatherings!
  • Human Rights Watch talks about torture, kidnappings…there is also 3 years in prison because of founding unauthorized groups.
So, anarchism in Jordan still has a long way to go but it is expected to grow in the coming years…
From ur brothers/sisters … comrades

Anarchists of Jordan

author by Michael Schmidt - International Secretary, ZACF (South Africa)publication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 06:12author address ZACF, Postnet Suite #47, Private Bag X1, Fordsburg, South Africa, 2033Report this post to the editors

I was in Jordan in 2006 and had no idea that an anarchist current was developing, though I met with our comrades in Lebanon during the summer war. I include here some writings on anarchism in the Middle East:

Lebanon:
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=3651&search_text=In%20the%20LAnd%20of%20the%20Blind

Iraq:
http://www.zabalaza.net/zab_paper/zab06.htm#iraq

Iran:
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=129&search_text=Iranian%20Revolution

http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=584&search_text=Iranian%20Revolution

Mashriq / Arabia / Iran:
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?topic=®ion=mashriqarabiairaq&type=&language=&media_type=

We are aware of the difficulties inherent in organising in the Middle East, so please tell us of any assistance we can give you.

Related Link: http://www.zabalaza.net/
author by ronan - wsmpublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 08:05Report this post to the editors

hope that these are of some use:

http://wsm.ie/news_viewer/1499

http://wsm.ie/news_viewer/1497

solidarity from Ireland!

Related Link: http://wsm.ie/news_viewer/2003
author by m(A)tt - nefac/sds/iwwpublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:52author email circleamatt at gmail dot comauthor address http://thewarstopshere.wordpress.comReport this post to the editors

I'd be really interested to know more about sufism and particularly sufi-anarchism. I'm only vaguely familiar with sufism, though I couldn't tell you much of anything about how it relates to politics or philosophy.

author by Dan Clore - The Soylent Green Partypublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:47author email clore at columbia-center dot orgReport this post to the editors

You might find the following of interest:

The Iraq Freedom Congress (http://tinyurl.com/26yzpd )
is a libertarian, secularist, non-violent, democratic, and
progressive group that opposes Ba'athism, Islamism, and
nationalism—as well as the US invasion/occupation.

The Iraq Freedom Congress has organized a self-defense
Safety Force that patrols neighborhoods in Iraq (population:
5,000) and has reduced sectarian violence there to zero.
However, far from supporting this effort, US forces have
assassinated the head of these Safety Forces
(http://tinyurl.com/25yknr ).

*****

News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo/

Related Link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo/
author by mitch - WSA, Corresponding Sectypublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 13:26author email wsany at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Greetings comrades from the Workers Solidarity Alliance (WSA)!

Related Link: http://www.workersolidarity.org
author by Nestor McNab - FdCApublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 16:28Report this post to the editors

Greetings to the Jordanian anarchists from the Federation of Anarchist Communists in Italy!

In solidarity,
nestor

Related Link: http://www.frdca.it/fdcaen
author by Dimitri (OAE-Greece) - Anarkismopublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 19:28author email ngnm55 at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Dear comrades from Jordan welcome to the anarchist movement.

We are going to translate your announcement into Greek as well.

There is already a short announcement in Greek in the Athens Indymedia today not from us but from someone else.

In solidarity

OAE-Greece

International Relations

author by nestor - Anarkismopublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 20:42Report this post to the editors

This article in Spanish, contributed by alasbarricadas.org:

Related Link: http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=8352
author by mazen kamalmazpublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 06:23author email mazen2190 at maktoob dot comauthor address syriaauthor phone 00966563365841Report this post to the editors

In fact the advance of anarchist ideas in the east is a sign of the strong desire for freedom and the decancy of fundamentalism and stalinism..as a Syrian anarchist i solute the Jordanian comrades , calling for open an free exchange of ideas and support among us...I had called before to establish a grass root movement of our region masses in order to combat relogious and national division and even sectarian wrs and to stop imperialist expolitation and build a new middle east from down , from below , according to the principles of freedom , justice..I think also we ve to promote collective ideas and progressive ideas in the face of brutal and repressive religious fundamentalism , and to create the arab battloin of the anti-globalisation movement...hope to hear from you as soon as possible

author by hamza - yassar ejtema'epublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 20:30author email hamza_hhh at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

thanks allot comrades...
as i said before we r now members of a movement called the social left which includes people from all the broad left spectrum ...we became more than 1500 in two months and we expect to grow more because all leftists r leaving their parties and joining us..
anarchists r very active among the social left we have a 1 comrade at least in every committee...
and we insisted in past meetings of having decentralized anarchist order inside the group...and despite the fact that most others believe in the Leninist 's centralized "democracy" we were able to impose our view on order and hierarchy inside the group.

about Sufism and anarchism...this is something i wrote...i hope it will make things more clear:

The link between the LEFT and Sufism is not new…After the 1970s Sufism has become the official religion of the Arab-Persian- Kurdish- Pakistani-Indonesian LEFT…
If u asked any of the so called leftist-Sufis about their religion they would answer:
“Sufi…something beyond religion …just sufi…I am also agnostic”!!! such answer is a typical Sufi answer that would be also the answer of a Sufi who lived in the middle ages…many Sufis in the 10th century refused going to HAJJ “and circle around a stone” and refused praying and talked about a more spiritual relation with god and less superstitious. of course the only traditional form of worship that they approved was “Fasting” as part of their struggle for the hungry and the poor…
so… we do reject organized religion. actually, one of the classical ideas of Sufism is rejecting traditional forms of worship and giving the choice for every individual to find his own way of connecting to god…like whirling dervishes or singing and the most important form is WONDERING…
Muslim Sufi schools and methods that were founded in Indonesia and southeast Asia in general also benefited from Buddhism and Hinduism so it is not strange to find quotes from the book of TAO in Islamic Sufi books.
Sufsim also believes that everyone is connected to the sky(god, wisdom) not only profits…and rebels against the idea that prophet Mohammad was the last prophet…their understanding of equality in front of god(god and man r equal) and equality between all humans in terms of connecting with god is also used to understand social justice and freedoms. Also adopting modest ways of living is used to understand our relationship with consumerism… the most important Sufi ever “al Hallaj” was a political activist and was crucified mostly because of politics not his blasphemous ideas as one might think…there is also “abu Thar” who was sent to exile because he believed that the “ZAKAT” or Islamic contributions which was 2.5% only on the rich should be high enough to cover the poor(Muslims and non muslims) and to free all slaves!
There is also the Qarmatian movement which we need to study more about…actually Syrians study about it at school as the first socialist Islamic group which consists of rebellious slaves and “batini shia” that was active from 880 - 1100 their beliefs were between Islam and Mandaism and gnosticism…but in Jordan we study a very different story –for political reasons- …I mean the way we study about them only mentions their attack on Mecca and stealing the holy stone!!!
We can find also women who were involved in Sufism and surprisingly some of them r very important figures in Sufism like “Rab'a al adawiyah” who was a poet..and that implies gender equality
It is interesting, There is a gay group in Lebanon called “helem” and they also used sufi texts to justify homosexuality!
This is one of the websites that has anti-authoritarian understanding of Sufi Islam…
http://www.bayyinat.org.uk/radical.htm

Egyptian anarchists posts great articles about anarchism and other topics on this website.. they r all members of the anti-globalization movement in Egypt(unfortunately it is all in Arabic)

http://kefaya.org/Arabic_znet.htm

This one in English… maybe it is a Lebanese website – I am not sure:
http://www.geocities.com/aggoa2000/index13.html

There r also a large number of Egyptian leftist bloggers and Egyptian leftist groups(-I bog for socialism- bloggers) (Arabic)
http://www.tymat.org/?q=node/740

this is part of an aticale that talks about left in pakistan:

“Who or what forces are protecting this re-invention of the Left?

Somehow the Left is at a simmer. It cannot be named for fear of instant reprisal, yet it rises slowly but surely from the ashes of popular culture. Some say Sufi, some say democracy, some say balance but all are seeking the Light Side. In an Islamic society, the Sufis quite clearly were Leftist elements whereas the Wahabis are the extreme Right. Pakistan at creation had a Left, injured, excavated as it were from the Muslims of undivided India. However, the Rightists gained power rapidly in the ensuing decades, pushing the Left to the periphery initially, then out to exile or Jail. This pattern is an old one in the history of Islam.” This is the origninal article http://www.chowk.com/articles/10132

thank u all comrades for ur help and support...

salam

author by Paddy Rua - WSMpublication date Mon Mar 31, 2008 20:01Report this post to the editors

Just to say it is great news that there's a libertarian left starting to give its first steps in the Middle East. Here's a blog of a Lebanese libertarian that has some good analysis of the Lebanese-Israeli conflict of 2006. Unfortunately since then it has not been updated...

Related Link: http://qursana.blogspot.com/
author by gyhellepublication date Tue Apr 01, 2008 20:02Report this post to the editors

French translation by Borogove, on l'endehors : http://endehors.org/news/un-apercu-sur-l-anarchisme-en-jordanie-aujourd-hui

author by mazen kamalmazpublication date Sun Apr 06, 2008 03:40author email mazen2190 at matoob dot comReport this post to the editors

There is a lot of anarchist writings translated to arabic on this site
www.ahewar.org/m.asp?i=1385

author by webelpublication date Sat May 10, 2008 20:36author email ahmed.refaat1 at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Show me some links please!

author by sylvio - aatwpublication date Fri Mar 15, 2013 05:52Report this post to the editors

There's a sizeable Anarchist community in Israel. The actual activism is usually in line with Palestinian solidarity, i.e. ISM. The general consensus is antizionism. If you're ever in the area...I don't know if dealing with the border checkpoints are worth your time and their infoshioo closed down so finding exclusively Anarchist events that arent activist related might be a little difficult. But if you're ever in the area...

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