Islamists in Jordan Mourn Bin Laden, Consider Him a Hero, and Distribute Sweets in Maan
Jordanian Salafi-Jihadi activitists congratulated the Ummah for “the martyrdom of Osama bin Laden,” whereas the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood said that bin Laden “went down the path that he chose,” amidst of an official caution [from the Brotherhood] of dealing with the repercussions of the AQ leader.
The prominent Salafi-Jihadi activist Abu Quteba Al-Majali mentioned that members of the movement had not confirmed the truth of the news of Bin Laden’s death, except to say that “Bin Laden is a curse upon the Americans, the Jews, their allies, and those who support them everywhere.”
Al-Majali, who accompanied Bin Laden from 1986 to 1991 in Afghanistan, congratulated the Ummah for the “martyrdom of Bin Laden, who Allah dignified by taking him as a martyr while fighting the enemy.”
The Jihad Continues
Concerning the influence of Bin Laden’s departure on jihadi movements, Al-Majali expressed that “Jihad will last until judgment day as God showed us.”
Sources from the movement told Al-Jazeera that a number of activists distributed sweets in Maan (250 km south of Amman), celebrating “the martyrdom of Bin Laden. “
Another source said “Distiribution of sweets in some of Maan’s markets is what happens when the people receive news of their sons’ martyrdom in Iraq, and that’s [also] what happened with Osama bin Laden.”
Even more sources noted the closure of stores in Salt, west of Amman, and the flying of black banners mourning “the martyrdom of Osama bin Laden.”
The offical speaker for the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Jameel Abu Baker told Al-Jazeera that “Osama bin Laden, God have mercy on him, chose his path and he knew its end and the cost of confronting and resisting America and its dictator allies in the region.” He followed: “We differed with Osama Bin Laden in his methods, but he did hold on to his principles to the last moment, and stood strong in confronting a global power for ten years without any concessions on his beliefs.”
In the opinion of the Brotherhood leader, the phenomenon led by Bin Laden “will not die down with his killing or his martyrdom, and we believe that as long as there is oppression and aggression then there will be resistance, with a multiplicity of approaches to this resistance.”
He said that “the solution to stopping the violence is not to kill Bin Laden or other leaders of Al-Qaeda, but in stopping its causes, for example the aggression against Muslim countries and their resources and intervention in their affairs, and that [the movement] seeks to change their reality for the better by ending corruption and dictatorship and stopping the violence of American-backed regimes on their peoples.”
The Popularity of Bin Laden
In the opinion of Mohamad Abu Raman, a political analyst and expert in Islamist groups, Osama Bin Laden enjoys popularity in the Jordanian street when compared to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
Raman said to Al-Jazeera “Polls showed that Bin Laden was popular even after the Amman bombings that Al-Zarqawi took credit for in 2005,” pointing to Bin Laden’s lack of connection to actions or statements against Jordan and the focus of his speeches on America, Jews, and Western powers.
As for the position of Jordan, who is a main ally of the United States in what it calls its war on terror, toward the killing of Bin Laden, Abu Raman expressed that Jordanian [government] interactions “will be careful with the fact that Bin Laden is not involved directly in operations or threats against Jordan as was the case with Al-Zarqawi.”
He added that “The Jordanian government’s official statement will be like that of other statements from governments allied with the United States,” but he signaled that Amman will take the killing of Bin Laden into consideration security-wise, where it will tighten procedures to prevent any revenge operations against American and Western interests in Jordan.