Vox Pops: Jordan's next step against ISIL

After the brutal murder of a Jordanian pilot, Al Jazeera asked residents how the country should respond.

    'It was never our war, but now it has become our revenge,' Manal al-Khateeb says [Reuters]
    'It was never our war, but now it has become our revenge,' Manal al-Khateeb says [Reuters]

    It has been five days since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a gruesome video showing Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh being burned alive.

    Shocked and angered by the brutality of the killing, Jordanians took to the streets, calling for revenge and the permanent destruction of ISIL. The Jordanian Armed Forces responded immediately with an operation carrying the name of the martyred pilot, and on Sunday, said it had carried out 56 raids in three days targeting ISIL strongholds. These raids reportedly destroyed logistics centres, arms depots and fighters' hideouts.

    Jordanian officials say their "war on extremism" is continuing, with the army vowing to "wipe [ISIL] from the face of the Earth". Al Jazeera asked Jordanians what they think should be the next step.

    Randa Naffa, NGO worker and mother
    Randa Naffa [Areej Abuqudairi/Al Jazeera]

    I think any future military response needs in-depth analysis and examination of the implications it could have on the Jordanian people and on the security situation in Jordan.

    We have to consider the fragility of Jordan and its political situation and that the Jordanian people are not prepared to be involved in a military war.

    We could fight extremism in so many different ways.

    We have to abandon the language of revenge, murder, killing and extremism. These values are alien to our culture. We could do this by giving young people an opportunity to express themselves so they do not get drifted to extremism.

    We should create job opportunities for them and support them. We should work on our schools and improve our educational system, and simply give women their rights.

    As Jordanians, we have always carried the message of peace in the region and we should maintain it.

    Yaseen Qaisi, writer and journalist
    Yaseen Qaisi [Areej Abuqudairi/Al Jazeera] 

    The debate on whether or not this is our war has become irrelevant. Now, we are fighting ISIL head to head, and we cannot withdraw from the war. We are directly encountering ISIL and we cannot step outside.

    I think Jordan's air strikes against ISIL, following the release of the gruesome video, are fair. We have proven to be strong and we have revenged the pilot. In fact, I think we should have responded earlier with a strong military campaign.

    Yes, ISIL must be fought but we have to think what kind of military response we should pursue.

    I think at this stage sending Jordanian troops to fight entails great risk. It also means we are literally sending them to die. We have to keep in mind that a war with ISIL is not a war with a state - that is, abiding by international and humanitarian law - it is with a bunch of armed gangsters.

    I think we can achieve some goals with less cost. We have a good air force that can hit ISIL from a distance without losing human lives.

    We should also remember that military responses could only be of short term. Fighting ISIL's ideology should be our long term [goal]. 

    Mohammad Faouri, social activist
    Mohammad Faouri [Areej Abuqudairi/Al Jazeera]

    We should respond to ISIL's killing of the pilot and the response has to inflict pain on ISIL. We cannot ignore this group. The severity of the situation is bigger than ignoring it.

    We should definitely continue the war against ISIL. It is definitely our war.

    Yes, the group has to vanish but we also have to be logical.

    I do not think it is wise of Jordan to send ground troops and fight ISIL on its own. We have to see what the coalition and other countries will do to support Jordan in the next step. 

    But until all is clear, the key point here is that we have to stick together as Jordanians.

    Aysha Omari, social worker
    Aysha Omari [Areej Abuqudairi/Al Jazeera]

    It has become very hard for me to decide whether we should be fighting a war against ISIL or not.

    I think these air strikes targeting ISIL are necessary, because there has to be a response to ISIL's atrocities somehow. I am not saying this because the pilot was Jordanian, but because ISIL killed so many other people.

    But I am also afraid that we will be dragged into war. We all have family members and beloved ones that we worry about. We do not want Jordan to become a war zone country like Iraq or Syria.

    There are so many things that Jordan could lose by joining the war, such as peace. Jordan is no longer home to Jordanians, but to refugees from all over the world as well.

    Nevertheless, we cannot stay silent and watch as ISIL is at the door step.

    Manal al-Khateeb, accounting major

    It was never ours and we should not have sent our son [the pilot] to die. He got killed while fighting the war on behalf of the US.

    Jordan's participation in the war came as a result of an American decision which [was] passed on to us but not taken by us. It was never our war, but now it has become our revenge.

    Revenge, especially sending ground troops, will cost us even more lives and worse still will cost us our 'blessing of stability'. I am not afraid that ISIL will attack us or try to cross our borders, because this can be dealt with.

    I am afraid that it will trigger retaliation from the group that will stir trouble using its supporters inside Jordan. Then, we will end up with the same scenario as Iraq; a divided nation.

    Stability and peace have been the base of this country. Every aspect of it, including the economy, depends on stability. If we lose the sense of peace we have, we are losing our country, society and identity.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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