Target: King Abdullah of Jordan
Goal: To call for the investigation of the proposed crimes of “devil worship” and Quran defilement of the five students currently being detained in Jordan
Five students of Al al-Bayt University in Jordan were beaten and are currently being detained by authorities based on alleged claims of Quran defilement and “devil worship.” The students and their families both deny these declarations and, at this point, no evidence has been found to point to their involvement in either of these activities.
Due to the lack of evidence in support of these assertions, some believe that these students were targeted because they were visibly counter-culturalists, regularly wearing black clothing and listening to heavy rock music. This may seem like a fairly trivial reason for persecution, but in areas where government has been radically transfigured by Islamic fundamentalism, witch-hunts are a regular part of the social experience.
These five students were brutally beaten by fellow students for these alleged crimes, and are now being detained and could face criminal charges regardless of the lacking evidence. This violates several tenets of international law, to which Jordan is wedded.
As stated by Human Rights Watch, “International law, including Jordan’s treaty obligations as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) requires the authorities to take reasonable steps to protect the right to security of all people within the country. It also requires Jordan to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and thought, conscience, and religion. That would require not prosecuting people for peacefully expressing their views and protecting them from attempts by others to coercively limit their ability to express their opinions and religious beliefs.”
It seems absurd to many of us that individuals can be imprisoned for differing beliefs (including devil worship), or face criminal prosecution for ripping pages out of a book, but that is where the danger of theocracies lie. Civil liberties are readily violated for the sake of preserving the ideals of the state religion and civilians turn on one another either in fear of the government or that “ultimate power.” Unfortunately, these kinds of political systems are still a reality and their government official’s complicity with rigid religious paradigms poses a serious threat to their civilians. Dozens of threats have also been hurled throughout the Internet calling for the death of the five. Surely the proposed acts barely have the symptoms of “crime,” let alone provoke penalties of death. If we are to entertain the ideal of an international community, or hope to preserve some shred of solidarity with fellow world civilians, we need to extend a helping hand.
Sign below to show your support for the five students currently being detained for these alleged senseless crimes without any solid evidential-backing.
Dear King Abdullah,
The alleged crimes of the five students of Al al-Bayt University that they are currently being detained for need to be heavily analyzed. As of now, there is no reason to believe that any of these students committed any of the proposed actions currently prescribed to them. Needless to say, without evidence, neither of these individuals should be held in prison.
These students were senselessly beaten and even have had death threats hurled their way for alleged crimes, of which, even if committed, hardly provoke penalties of death.
Please allocate resources towards the analysis and examination of these proposed crimes, and if no evidence is compiled, the students must be released. Furthermore, I would ask that you rethink these proposed acts as “crimes,” as they seem to be merely forms of expression. And regardless of the findings, the opposing students that beat the alleged five need to face criminal charges as well. And surely the individuals who have called for their deaths must face some kind of penalty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Enduring Sense