In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Apartheid in Palestinian Jordan, Nehemia Gordon speaks with Mudar Zahran, Secretary General of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition and an orthodox Muslim who advocates for separation of mosque and state. According to Zahran, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is really a Palestinian State in which the vast majority of the population are treated like second-class citizens in the country where they were born. The Jordanian-born Zahran currently lives in exile in London—facing a life sentence in prison in Jordan because of his outspoken opposition to the apartheid regime that rules the country.
Zahran begins by explaining the Turkish, Ottoman and British occupations of Jordan and the Hashemites who currently rule there. This group of 87 Bedouins rules over eight million people (primarily Palestinians) without granting rights or representation. Zahran translates a popular proverb among Palestinians in Jordan, “Israel is more merciful.”
Explaining that US policy makers will only speak with the Hashemites and the Muslim Brotherhood, Zahran calls on US listeners to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to have communications with the Jordanian Opposition Coalition. Zahran is straightforward that his coalition seeks power in Jordan—power to honor and expand the peace agreement with Israel, to shut down Islamist groups in Jordan, and to expand the war on terror.
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Bio: Mudar Zahran is a Jordanian Palestinian writer and the secretary general of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition. He was born in Amman, Jordan. He has two master's degrees from Southern New Hampshire University and a PhD in Middle Eastern banking in the UK. Before seeking asylum in the UK, Zahran was serving as Economic Specialist and Assistant Policy Coordinator at the US Embassy in Amman, serving also the US Embassy in Baghdad. During his work at the US Embassy, Zahran covered critical and sensitive matters regarding Jordan, reporting to two US ambassadors, with his reports being forwarded to the US Department of State, the US Department of Treasury, the CIA, the US Department of Homeland Security and, occasionally, the FBI.
Mudar Zahran, Jordanian Opposition Coalition:
"Write to your congressman just three lines:
Mr. or Mrs. Congressman/ Congresswoman, I've heard about Mudar Zahran of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition. He is the leader of seculars in Jordan. Our government is not talking to him and ignoring him. We understand that Jordan could be subject to change like other Arab countries. Could you please, Mr. or Mrs. Congressman or Congresswoman, write to the CIA or the Department of State and tell them, 'You have to talk to this person.'"
- The Weizmann-Faisal Agreement, 1919 CE
- The San-Remo Conference, 1920 CE
- The “Mandate for Palestine” Document
- Jordan, Islamic State’s next playground?
- The Modern King and the Arab Spring
- "Jordan is Palestinian" by Mudar Zahran