Let’s sue people around the world! Hurraaay

Hal Ta3lam – Do you know that in Jordan (and Jordan only?) you have the ability to sue anyone around the world according to our local penal code or Press and Publication Law?

So while some *smart* men find it as a chance to get to journalists and editors involved in the republication of offensive caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

Others would just be creative and pursue whom ever they wish to prosecute around the world

I bet there is someone out there who is dreaming of bringing George Bush to justice? No?

and I am sure that there are many who are ready to sue Madonna for her indecent performances?

What about that couple in Rome who were kissing shamelessly in a public area? Can’t I sue them according to my local law? Hell I can! I am a Jordanian citizen, right?

Our law is so cool guys!

But there is a catch!

I think that the international law may conflict with our local law, and while we can win a case against a citizen of another country in Jordan, that would leave the government in a an awkward situation where it has to apply the local verdicts on citizens of other countries and risking diplomatic and political crisis

Do we really care?


  1. So? What’s the big deal? the Jews have been suing anyone remotely accused of antisemitism anywhere around the world and has people trembling just at the mere mentioning of it.So what’s wrong really when people resort to the law to resolve conflict? Isn’t that the main reason why the law exists in the first place?Or are you implying that the Jordanian law is not just and fair while other laws are!?If there wasn’t countries that actually follow the laws of others, the Interpol wouldn’t have existed right? The FBI’s most wanted list with fugitives from all four corners of the world on it.For once, we’re doing something in a civilized way, I take resorting to courts over angry mob smashing embassies any time of day.


  2. Qwaider, well, I would resorting to courts over angry mob smashing embassies as well!But that is not the point hereYou can’t just sue people of other countries under the Jordanian law. The interpol is meant to bring people who commit a crime in Jordan for instance and left the country. They wouldn’t bring people committing crimes in other countries to be executed in Jordan.and it isn’t a matter of just and fair law. Would you want people in other countries who prohibit poligamy to sue Jordanians with two wives? That is absurd. People do commit to their local country laws. They don’t have to abide with laws of all other foreign countries! That would be insane because I guarantee you that there are many weird laws around the world. You don’t want people knocking your door and sueing you for something you have no idea is prohibited in honolulu, do you?Besides, your comment about the Jews is not applicable here. They sue people who commit anti-semitism in countries who do have laws against it.


  3. This is another one of those rare occasions that I find myself in total agreement with Qwaider. It all boils down to this basic statement: Yes to justice & no to violence. Incitement to violence is a prosecutable offence no matter how you look at it. We aren’t in a position to judge the outcome before the court had an opportunity to review all of the pertinent facts included in the litigation. The people who initiated the law suit seem to know on what basis they are suing; they seem to think that they have a case that is worth pursuing otherwise they wouldn’t have created all of this whoopla. I think that win or lose isn’t the issue in this case, I think that what they are trying to do is show that we do know how to utilize the law and seek justice the way you do in the west, we aren’t only a bunch of fanatics that go on rampages every time someone offends our faith. I personally support moves like that and wouldn’t mind seeing more of it being pursued in the same fashion. I think that Muslims have begun to realize that perception is very important, even more important that reality, and accordingly they started polishing their image that was unfortunately sullied by all of the violent acts committed in the name of Islam.


  4. Jordan is the face of a moderate, civilized country to the West.As I recall, the embassy-burning frenzied mobs were in Sudan, Afghanistan,Pakistan, Malaysia, and no one was really surprized as they are the countries who continually fuel Muslim-bashing media.Jordan is the country which bears the burden of responsibility of being a forward thinking country. This lawsuit has undermined that image, and made Jordan a laughing stock. Maybe we are being ‘civilized’ in this lawsuit, but I expect more than just being ‘civilized’ from Jordan.I am very much against any movement to restrict freedom of speech, no matter how offensive to any religious group. Ignoring offenders steals their thunder; being noticed is the goal.Interpol is meant for criminals, not thought police.I commented on Farah’s blog that the difference between ‘insult’ and hate speech is pretty blurring, and highly subjective between Western and Eastern cultures. I discovered on my own blog that certain facts of historical Christianity and Judaism is considered an insultto Muslims.I would definitely imply that Jordan’s laws are not just and fair. Especially in terms of freedom of speech.I would like to see these governmental efforts go into educating Muslism from the ‘less civilized’ countries about how to win friend and influence people. As long as they continue to slash and burn anyone who disagrees and they feel offended, Islam will not be trusted and Muslims will continue to feel marginalized and defined inaccurately.


  5. Kinzi,Laughing stock? You fell in the trap of generalizing your judgment on a whole country. Thats one point, the other one is: They are free to sue whom ever they want. But I guess prejudice will never cease to exist.By the way: I am not for the case and wasting energy on such effort, but I defend their right to do so, I defend their right to express anger on insulting their ultimate figure. People sue for the most rediculous things, so why not sue for one of the most important things: Faith.


  6. Kinzi,You missed the whole point, it isn’t about freedom of speech, and it isn’t even about hate speech, which I, whole heartedly unequivocally, support both. Plain and simple, it is all about incitement. When someone incites you to riot, to go on a rampage, or God forbid commit a murder, that someone is an accomplice, an accessory to the murder, he/she/they bear some responsibility and even accountability toward provoking you and leading you to commit a given mischief. May be I’m wrong but that is the way I see the premise with which these people based their case upon. As you probably know there is a difference between poking innocent fun at certain character and deliberately lampooning the same character. There is a difference between satire and slur; there is a difference between raising a legitimate concern and between prosecuting incessant character assassination. I understand that you may be thinking of the case where the artists smeared the image of Jesus Christ and how it was considered freedom of expression. It is all fine and dandy when no one complains, when no one riots, when no one come forward to log a grievance, but when a complaint is submitted it needs to be looked into and an orderly response becomes warranted. I’m not with or against those who decided to pursue the legal channels; I’m only expressing my own personal feelings toward the matter.


  7. If you remember my position on the Danish cartoons, I was with boycott not riots. In the case of the Dutch ‘dude’ it’s totally different.The guy is promoting a certain image that IS harming people and inflicting even further damage to an already strained relationship between the west and Islam. Causing the scores of “simple” minds to take very offensive positions against the symbols of Islam. Hijab for women became a nightmare in the west because of ideas that are being promoted in this specific fashion.A guy having two wives is not offensive to anyone living in the Midwest. But certain Images might encourage that backward gas-station cleric to refuse service to someone because they’re Muslim.Lets just take this a little bit differently. Lets say this movie was about the Jews, stereotyping them as murderers, and how the Torah instigates hatred, discrimination, murder …etc. Do you think the maker won’t be branded Antisemitic!?The definition of antisemitism is: <>prejudice and hostility toward Jews as a group. The prejudice is usually characterized by a combination of religious, racial, cultural and ethnic biases<>Now remove the word Jew and change it to Muslim and you get the idea.American Jews have sued banks (for dealing in West bank and Gaza). They have sued international figures for instigating or even implying violence or terrorism against Jews. But most known incident of all is British and American citizens suing Libya and Qaddafi for bombings. Not to forget the extremely famous lawsuit against Sharon by Lebanese citizensAt the end, this is only a matter of civil protest, something might not ever materialize out of these, but it remains people’s choice to pursue these avenues and remain a million times better than violence and terrorism


  8. hmmm it’s interesting how the options are either the law suite or violence and the idea that a low budget movie can be an accomplice to inciting murder. no wonder little teddy bear was such an issue. It’s either black or white. just for the record, jordanian law doesn’t have any clause that can be applied to this case and even so no subpoena will be issued through the Interpol for it. the interpol is for multi national criminals or for some who escape justice from one country to the other and only applies if they have signed and extradition agreement between the country of residence and the country that the crime was committed in and only applies to crimes committed in that country. In the case of lockerbie they were trialed in scotland, and it wasn’t the Libyan gov’t on trial but its ambassador based on British law in Britain. on the other hand the lebanese case was trialed in belgium because the law there allows you to subpoena a war criminal regardless of their residence which was changed due to the case that was brought to the court against Sharon. As for anti semitisim cases few ever went to trial, most of them were settled before court, and they were all brought to courts of their residing country because they do have anti semitism laws (germany, australia, england, and the US come to mind) So all what this little fiasco does is show that people in jordan don’t know their A’s from Z’s when it comes to international law… but hey let them knock themselves out just don’t do it in the name of jordan.


  9. International law isn’t relevant in this case. International law becomes a factor when a sovereign country recognized by the United Nations encroaches on the sovereignty of another country member of the United Nations. The encroachment must be by sea within 12 nautical miles, by air violating the air space, or by land when the army of one country crosses over the borders recognized by the UN into another sovereign country. In this particular case the people being sued are employees of newspaper and a Dutch politician. Neither Jordan nor Norway or the Netherland are suing one another. In the event that one of these countries would want to sue one another they would go to the international court of Justice in The Hague and not to the prosecutor general of Amman. Please guys let us put things in the proper perspective so we don’t look like we don’t know what we are talking about.


  10. Farah, lol, but that is a different case 🙂Hatem, you are missing the point as well. I am all for civilized means for fighting out battles, and it would be totally different if someone raised the case in Denmark itself, but we can’t go on sueing people around the world for crimes they did outside Jordan boundaries with our local law.btw, you have a nice family 🙂Kinzi, I am against restricting freedom of speech as well, but this is also beside the point, people can restrict it as much as they like under the law of their own countries for people living there, but it is absurd to go after people of other countries with our local law! It just doesn’t work.mohannad, they certainly has the right, but then again, it is something wrong in our law. We can’t sue people living in other countries based on it.Qwaider, ‘A guy having two wives is not offensive to anyone living in the Midwest.’How can you tell? It would only take one person to sue if its local country law allows it! Again, you can sue them based on their country law, not based on our local law unless they committed the crime here.Odai, I think you can 😛bambam, bingo! you said it all


  11. Mohanned, I am not doing the generalzation, this is what I am hearing from people who are generally Jordan/Arab World friendly now that I am in the US. I care a great deal about Jordan’s rep here, and this lawsuit has set back the kind of respect I’d like to see toward Jordan.Of course they are free to file it but the consequences, as I have heard and seen, are NOT what many are stating: that ‘at least those people arent’ burning things’. It is: what a stupid thing to do.Sue for faith? That implies that everyone should respect and follow the tenants of a particular faith, which is a bondage that America sought to ESCAPE from.Hatem, I didn’t miss it :), it was a part of it. My point is that the whole incitement thing is so uncommon in the West or in our justice system. No one makes anyone else DO anything, no accomplice to murder by stating anunpopular opinion. Insulting someone’s beliefs or personal honor is not an excuse to commit violence in any Western country, that I am aware of.I just visited the Abraham Lincoln museum. The vitrol and hate in the campaign speeches astounded me, and this was supposed to be a genteel era. Of course the Dutch guy was promoting an image. His best friend was murdered by a Dutch Muslim (not an Afghani)in Holland and another lives as a fugitive because of her stand against aspects of Islam. Do I agree with them? Do I like them? No, I hold my nose at times. But their right to speak their opinion is a protected right.In my opinion, getting murders to stop is more important than silencing those who report it. It is the responsibility of the Ummah to restrain those who defile Islam’s image, not those who right about it.For me, to be called an infidel is not fun. To hear Imams say that Christians and Jews should be killed is not fun. To know that a major Imam in Jordan is calling for the destruction of my home country is not fun. Knowing Muslims who LIVE in my home country pray for it’s destruction, and desire Islamic law in my free land is not fun. But I am not going to kill anyone for saying it, nor sue anyone.But hey, I enjoy reading all your opinions and respect you guys for the thought it takes to write it out. 🙂


  12. Kinzi,I totally and completely understand every word that you have mentioned in your comment, and although most of it is very interesting, it makes a lot of sense, and you have every right in the world to be upset about it, but regrettably, it has nothing to do with the facts that we have here on hand or the topic that we are directly having discourse about it. I do agree with you that the Muslims are better off when they stamp out the terrorists amongst them than when they try to silence someone covering the terrorists acts. And they do, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, and in many Arab and Muslim countries they did fight the terrorists and contained their activities. As you probably know, there is a fine line between critically criticizing and slandering. It is okay to criticize but it isn’t okay to slander, it is okay to hate but it isn’t okay to incite, it is okay to sully and disparage, but it isn’t okay to slur. Do you see the similarities and differences? The Muslims are trying very hard to polish their image but it seems like no matter what they do, they would still be still be stultified for it. We want to bridge the gap with other faiths, we want to reconcile, and will you give us the chance to do so.


  13. Hey Hatem, well, I guess I don’t understand what it is I am not getting, or how what I am saying is not on topic. I’ll leave it at that.I think most Muslims I know are great examples of their faith, in fact, I use you blogger folks as examples with people I know all the time. BUT, many Muslims withdraw from discourse when they feel insulted. Of course most efforts will be stultified (new word for me) by media especially,but you can learn from us evangelicals: hang in there and be persistent.


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