Jordan Acts to Curb a Rising Chorus of Critics

(Washington Post)Scott Wilson - Jordan rounded up and later released 38 Islamic leaders, activists, and clerics on Sept. 9 for allegedly violating a law prohibiting political commentary inside mosques, as the government faces uncharacteristically strident criticism from a popular Islamic movement over its alliance with the U.S. and diplomatic relations with Israel. Only clerics licensed by the Ministry of Holy Places and Islamic Affairs are allowed to deliver Friday sermons, and they must adhere to regulations that prohibit criticism and political content. Informants file reports to the security services and the religious ministry on the contents of Friday sermons. Largely as a reward for King Abdullah's support for the Iraq war, U.S. military and development aid to Jordan nearly tripled in 2003, to more than $1.5 billion.

2004-10-01 00:00:00

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