Rami Dabbas, a regular contributor to Blitz is a civil engineer by profession who works for Greater Amman Municipality in Jordan. Rami is the founder of Jordan’s Liberal Party, which was founded in 2019. He writes for several media outlets in the world. Rami Dabbas is a pro-Israel advocate and human rights activist fighting against sharia law, radical Islamic terrorism and Arab nationalism. He connects with many NGOs and thinks tanks to promote peace with Israel and counter jihadist outfits.
Recently Rami Dabbas has been interviewed by Vijaya Laxmi Tripura, Senior Reporter of Blitz. Here are the excerpts:
Blitz: As we know, Jordan has over 10 million population with around 95 percent Sunni Muslim populace and an indigenous Christina minority. How much religious freedom the Jordanian Christians are enjoying?
Rami Dabbas: In Jordan, religious freedom is safeguarded for all Religions. in Jordan, there are Sunni Muslims and Christians both practice their faith with Freely, even there are Iraqi Shiites and others who convert to Shiites from locals. Conversion to Christianity by Muslims exists and there is nothing illegal about them. In the end, not each person is the same. As for me, as a Muslim who converted to Christianity, I did not face any troubles or any harassment, but until 2018, I was appointed to the Greater Amman Municipality as an engineer in my field of work, and I am currently serving as Deputy Director of the Tender Committee in the Municipality in Amman since beginning of this year, if there were any harassment or any discrimination I would not even work anywhere not even to government.
However, I observed some harassment of others and even killings of people who left Islam and others who criticized Islam, such as activist and writer Nahed Hattar.
Blitz: Jordan is repeatedly referred to as an “oasis of stability” in the turbulent Middle Eastern region. What is the secret behind such stability in the country?
Rami Dabbas: Stability in Jordan is mainly because our wise king and monarchy but we have to not forget that Jordan is mainly an ally of the west and Israel.
Jordan have intelligence cooperation with Mossad and CIA to protect Western interests in Middle East, in the same time since Joe Biden became the president of the United States, most of US bases in Persian Gulf moved to Jordan in addition to UK and other European bases, this makes Jordan more stable and more safe.
Blitz: Majority of the nations in the world are witnessing the alarming rise of radical Islam. Especially a country like Jordan with 95 Sunni Muslims and very large proportion of Palestinians, how much risk radical Islam poses to Jordan?
Rami Dabbas: Jordanian intelligence GID works in all Jordan and watching the Muslim Brotherhood closely, in same time Hamas in past had an official office in Amman later it got shut down after exposing its radical ties in community and aboard.
The Palestinians now are same as Jordanians and PLO has changed from the past, the only threat to Jordanian community is Hamas and Iran supporters, but still our intelligence is watching these radicals and their security threats to community closely.
Blitz: As you are considered as an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, including Jordan, can you please tell us, in a massive Palestinian populace in Jordan, how much influence of them are on country’s internal and foreign policies?
Rami Dabbas: Palestinians in Jordan with Jordanian citizenship mainly same as indigenous Jordanians with all rights and obligations, while our beloved Queen Rania is a Palestinian means Palestinians are half of the community and they have all rights and obligations as us Jordanians.
Jordan, like any Arab Muslim country, has extremists of all sects. Therefore, the policy of the Jordanian king is a wise policy in all his policies, both internal and external, and taking into account the Arab nationalist/religious sentiments in Jordan.
Blitz: A large proportion of the Palestinians are sympathetic or supportive towards Hamas. Jordanian authorities had denied international request for extraditing terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, who was even in the recent past on Interpol’s ‘Most Wanted’ list. For a decent country like Jordan, don’t you think, giving shelter to terrorists like Tamimi would ultimately damage Jordan’s image?
Rami Dabbas: The demands through the American legislative frameworks for her extradition, and the solid stance shown by the Jordanian judiciary in 2017, when the Court of Cassation, which is the highest judicial body, ratified a decision issued by the “Amman Appeals” rejecting the extradition of Al-Tamimi because she holds Jordanian citizenship.
Any Jordanian citizen may not be extradited to a foreign body unless a final court ruling is issued against him, the extradition treaty dose not exists between Jordan and USA anymore as I been informed, after the extradition treaty between Amman and Washington in recent years was nullified.
Blitz: In your opinion, what are the root causes of anti-Semitism within the Middle Eastern or Arab nations?
Rami Dabbas: The reasons for anti-Semitism go back firstly, to the Arab nationalists thought represented by Gamal Abdel Nasser, as well as the Baath parties, whether Iraqi or Syrian. Secondly, there is an interpretation prevalent among many Muslims based on verses that spoke about the Jews with racism and supremacy.
Blitz: Don’t you think, for the sake of regional security, Middle Eastern and Arab nations should normalize relations with Israel?
Rami Dabbas: We all know that Ibrahim’s agreements with the UAE and Bahrain came with an alliance between Israel and the Arab countries, and of course, these serve the Arab countries more than they serve Israel, especially in the field of self-defense against Iran and its proxies, but also against the Houthi threat to Saudi Arabia, of course the same is Jordan and Egypt.