The Arab Spring, if it’s anything like Irish Spring soap, is leaving pundits scratching their heads. The Arab world is certainly in an itchy lather. In some countries, the monarchs have been completely overthrown. In Libya, military leader Moammar Gaddafi is giving his rebels a run for their money to see who’s more “revolutionary.” Saudi Arabia is trying not to wring its hands while the Gulf States are going out of their way to prove how Muslim they are.
Then there’s Jordan. One Muslim website is convinced he’s the Muslim Anti-Christ, while the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the latest AP report, considers him “a stabilizing influence.” Some reports have youthful protesters throwing rocks and bottles at his motorcade, while others say the youths only started clamoring when they were prevented from shaking hands with the monarch.
He was on his way to inspect the infrastructure in southern Jordan and to meet with the head of the Libyan National Transitional Council. At the meeting, he promised Jordan’s support to the Libyan people in achieving their aspirations and ambitions for a better future, providing humanitarian, medical, and logistic assistance.
Since his coronation in 1999, King Abdullah II has claimed that he welcomes a transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, complete with an elected parliament. The State Department lists Jordan already as a constitutional monarchy. His critics say they’ve been waiting for over 12 years for this more democratic form of government to emerge.
He is a Sunni Muslim, as is 92 percent of his country. They also regularly criticize his Palestinian, Westernized wife, Rania. Attractive and fashionable, she is one of the darlings of the Western Media. Abdullah’s mother either is or was Muslim, although she was born in England as Doris Elizabeth Sutton. She still retains her Islamic name, Muna al-Hussein.
According to Wikipedia, Abdullah was born in Amman, Jordan, but according to the New York Times of that period, his birthplace was London. In any case, he attended school in America and England, studying at Oxford and Georgetown. Critics complain that his Arabic is dreadful.
Just how well his subjects, increasingly inspired by the Arab Spring revolution and their embrace of Islam (and all the baggage that comes with it, filled with explosives and bile for Western civilization), will embrace their king is unclear. They’ll want to know whose side he’s on and with his lineage, that is also unclear. His country hosts the most Palestinian refugees in the Arab world, or so it is said.
With an English mother, an Arab father whose lineage is said to date back to Mohammed himself, a Palestinian wife, and degrees from Western schools, he’s walking a very cagey thin line. The Islamists are no more sure of this guy than we are about Obama.
How long can either of them bestride the world before they lose their balance?