Skip to comments.New Flag Raised over the Middle East (and it's not the Iraqi one, or is it)
Posted on 10/23/2004 9:40:37 PM PDT by JasonColeman
Well, boys and girls, it seems that in recent weeks, theres been some stirring in that Middle East land known as Jordan. While our attention has been focused primarily on Iraq and Afganistan, and casting a wary eye at Syria and Iran, and looking back over our shoulder at the developments in North Korea, Jordan has been making some symbolic maneuvers that arent fully understood yet, but could wind up having some major implications for the region.
(Excerpt) Read more at jasoncoleman.com ...
So whats all the fuss about? And is it really serious? The answer to the second question is Im not sure yet, but it certainly could be an omen of the future.
The answer to the first, is that theres now a MASSIVE flag of the Hashemite dynasty flying over Jordan. More specifically, over the Jordanian Kings compound on the Gulf of Aqaba. What was originally thought to be a new watchtower erected to keep an eye on goings on in the gulf, turns out to be a VERY large flag (some 262 x 44 ft.) flying from what is now known to be a 446 ft. tall flagpole.
Big deal you might say? Well, theres some significance to this flag when viewed in the historical context of the greater Middle East. The Hashemites enter prominence in the region by way of Mohammad. Mohammads great-grandfather was a Hashemite, and therefore passed that heritage to the Prophet. The most revered Hashemite line was carried on by Hassan, who was the grandson of the Prophet and son of the fourth Caliph named Ali. Hassan was the last Hashemite to make a claim to the Califate but his descendents became the Emirs of Mecca. The last ruler of this line was Hussein bin Ali, who was also the King of Hijaz.
Hussein bin Ali was conquered by Ibn Saudi (who in 1924 took control of the Holy sites of Islam and founded Saudi Arabia), overt Hashemite rule went into hibernation at this point.
Now the colonial powers stepped in sometime later and put Hashemite rulers back in power, the sons of Hussein, were placed on the thrones of the newly created Jordan (Abdullah) and Iraq (Faisal). Faisal was assassinated in the 1958 coup that led to the rise of the Baathists and Saddam Hussein.
The Hashemite line was gone (somewhat) in Iraq, but continued in Jordan through Abdullah (murdered in 1951), his son Hussein (installed as a boy king and who died in 1999) and finally Abdullahs grandson, Abullah II who reigns today.
So theres the history, but what does it all mean.
Well, the flag in itself is a symbolic statement. Such statements are very important in the Arab world. The flag represents an appeal to the people of Iraq who share a common ancestry with Jordan. The Hashemites view themselves as the legitimate Guardians of Islamic Shrines and the true defenders of the Islamic faith. The Hashemites view Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist sect as usurpers, and their spawn, al-Queda, as an offront to Islam. With this flag, the Jordanians seem to be saying to the world that theres a new historic-religious-political force awakening in the Middle East and it represents the true faith of Islam.
Its considered improper in the Islamic world for one Muslim to criticize another in the view of non-Muslims, thats the primary reason you dont see Muslims the world over rising up to condemn the actions of al-Queda, so you have to look for subtle statements of solidarity, condemnation and support when you look at this world. While not exactly subtle this flag is perhaps a very pointed message to the Arab world, Iraq and al-Queda specifically.
The Jordanians seem to be saying to the Iraqis that they support the Iraqi people and their Hashemite heritage. I would suggest that its also a message to al-Queda that their version of Islam is not the true faith and teaching of Mohammad and that Jordan is ready to embrace a return to the pre-Ibn Saud era of Islam, its also one of the first overt signs in the region that the Arab world is turning against al-Queda.
Al-Quedas roots are in Saudi Arabia, in 1979, Otheiba tribesmen in Saudi Arabia made a challenge to the throne, these Wahhabists seized control of many areas of Saudi Arabia including the Grand Mosque in Mecca, sensing that they were losing control, the Saudis first appealed to Jordan for help. Jordan agreed to send in commandos to help dislodge the radicals, but insisted that concessions to Jordan be made, namely returning some areas of the Hijaz to Hashemite control. The Saudis recoiled at this suggestion and turned to the French for help, the rebellion wasnt so much put down, as it was absorbed by the Saudis. The Saudis tilted toward the Wahhabi faith and the fundamentalists within the new Wahhabist Saudi Arabia eventually created al-Queda and continue to support them.
Today, Saudis and the Jordanians are allies in the Arab world but each has one hand behind their back and keep their distance. The Jordanians are upset that Islam is being corrupted and its world view has turned toward hatred and radical extremism. With the balance of power in the Middle East in flux, it seems that the question may be developing Which version of Islam is to be supported in the Middle East, Wahhabism or Hashemite. Both claim to be the Defenders of the Faith of Islam, and although Saudi Arabia may hold geographic control of the shrines and holy places, it now seems that a Hashemite wind is rising in the Middle East, and its now blowing a big flag pointed straight at Baghdad.
When you join a forum to pimp your own website using someone else's material, it's considered good form to at least reference the original source.
See http://www.debka.com .
Sounds like a positive sign. If the islamic leaders in the middle east don't take steps to kill of al-Queda, it's just a matter of time before al-Queda will turn on each and every one of the islamic leaders.
There was several articles about this before the war. I was sort of wondering when the first moves would start. I guess this is it.
Also from what I have read it also portends even worse times ahead.
Poor Talal, he gets no respect at all.
With this flag, the Jordanians seem to be saying to the world that theres a new historic-religious-political force awakening in the Middle East and it represents the true faith of Islam.
Sure, it's called the "Beast Map", and the image prostrates towards Mecca. The Sphinx of Giza faces east, facing its own image on the ground.
Would that it were so. Jordan is the most pro-Western Arab country in the Middle East, and they are not Islamic fundamentalists. Unfortunately the numbers (of loyal Bedouin-bred troops) are too few, and there are no dreams of re-taking charge of Mecca and Medina.
Wow, you are fast girl!! I was just going to ping you!
WOW! This is most interesting. What a wealth of knowledge you have about this region.
From your description of the flag's meaning, am I to assume Jordan has thrown the gauntlet to the ground - so to speak.
However, could this put us in a very precarious position ..?? Who are we going to side with - Jordan or Saudi Arabia ..?? Both are purported to be allies, but we do buy oil from Saudi Arabia .. and I don't know for sure what our alliance is based on in Jordan - it that oil also ..??
I would hope that the relations with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq don't have to be mutually exclusive. From what I interpret this move to Iraq as meaning is that the Jordanians are saying "Hey, look over here Iraqis, we've got some common heritage and we'll be with you to help you with this transition you are undergoing." Separately I see it as a statement to Saudi Arabia to "back off" and give their neighbors some breathing room to emerge from this period of instability a strong and vibrant nation.
I also belive that Jordan is the most "moderate" and "sensical" of the Arab nations in the region and while they don't have the oil that Saudi Arabia does, they do have an economy that can forge mutually beneficial relationships with Iraq.
I think that in this time when the media does nothing but report that the entire world is against what's happening in Iraq (which it isn't) it's nice to see an Arab state step up to the plate and make a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the Iraqi people rather then give tacit support to those elements trying to fan the flames so to speak.
My knowledge of the region isn't that great, I saw the article mentioned on debka.com then followed my nose around the net for a bit to get some better interpretations of the situation, a little history on the Hashemites and read up a little bit on Jordan's efforts to be a small voice of sanity in an otherwise radically-charged area of the world.
I do apologize to the freepers out there for "pimping" my blog, it wasn't my intent to do so, but it was my first post and I'll admit without reservation that it didn't format like I'd intended. I had wanted to make a brief excerpt then come back and try to get some discussion about it. Again my apologies for the "pimping"
They have no natural resources, little water, etc., Jordan has a significan problem with unemployment and poverty and was once a part of Palistine.
This link is a good history of the area known as Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Well worth everyone's reading.
Here's the Debka article:
Hashemite Dynasty Shows the Flag at Gulf of Aqaba
DEBKAfile Special Report
October 21, 2004, 11:20 AM (GMT+02:00)
Shortly before the October 7 Sinai bombings at Taba and Nueiba, inhabitants of the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat noticed some strange goings-on across the bay in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba. Cement trucks were seen dumping their loads along a section of coastline where the Jordanian royal villa nestles among giant palm trees. Other trucks unloaded huge pipes, which giant cranes hoisted into position. Could it be a new Jordanian watchtower to keep an eye on the Gulf of Aqaba? Or perhaps Jordan was building a new military or communications installation?
The answer to the riddle was not long coming. One morning, they awoke to the sight of an enormous flag flying from a 136 meter- (446 foot) high pole. The flag, measuring 80 meters (262 feet) by 44 meters (144 feet), was almost the size of an American football field, a towering presence even against the backdrop of the 1,200 meter (3,900 feet) -high mountains behind Aqaba.
Dimensions aside, there was something odd about the pennant. It looked almost but not quite like the Jordanian national flag; it lacked the trademark star and its colors were in the wrong order. Instead of being arranged in a black, white and red pattern, the flag was black at the top, green in the middle and white at the bottom (See photo) .
After some research, DEBKAfiles sources were able to identify it as the royal flag not of Jordan but of the Hashemite dynasty that reigns in Amman today but originated somewhere else. Thereby hangs the tale of the huge flag.
Through his great-grandfather, the prophet Mohammad was himself a Hashemite, a subdivision of the Quraysh tribe of what is now Saudi Arabia. The most revered Hashemite line then passed through Hassan, son of the Prophets daughter Fatima and her husband Ali, the fourth caliph. Hassan was the last of this line to hold the disputed claim to the caliphate, but his progeny eventually established themselves as hereditary emirs of Mecca, the role continuing under Ottoman rule. The last of the line to rule as emir of Mecca and King of Hijaz along the Red Sea was Hussain bin Ali. Ibn Saudi, the founder of Saudi Arabia, conquered the Hijaz in 1924 and deposed Hussein, thus ending Hashemite rule of the region and the holy places of Islam.
The new Saudi dynasty, supported by the Wahhabi Muslim sect, proclaimed itself Guardians of the Shrines of Islam
Husseins dispossessed sons, Abdullah and Faisal, were later placed on the newly-created thrones of Amman and Baghdad, respectively. The Hashemite line survived in Jordan but not in Baghdad. Faisal was assassinated on July 14, 1958 in a military coup that soon led to the rise of Saddam Hussein at the head of the Baath regime.
In 1951, Abdullah was murdered by a Muslim zealot at the door of al Aqsa mosque on Jerusalems Temple Mount. Two years later, his grandson Hussein succeeded to the Jordanian throne as a boy king. He reigned until his death in 1999, when he was succeeded by his eldest son Abdullah II.
Through the many upheavals and disasters visited on them, the Hashemites never gave up their claim of common descent with the Prophet or their vision of returning to their roots, the Hijaz, now the western Red Sea province of Saudi Arabia.
In November 1979, Saudi Crown Prince Fahd, son of Ibn Saud and incumbent albeit incapacitated ruler of the oil kingdom, appealed to Jordans King Hussein for help to put down a revolt against the throne mounted by Wahhabi Muslim radicals, led by Otheiba tribesmen. The rebels had got as far as seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca claiming the corrupt Saudi crown was unfit to guard the holy places. These fundamentalists later spawned Osama bin Laden and still nourish his al Qaeda network. The Saudis desperately needed Jordanian commandos to dislodge these early terrorists from the mosque. Hussein agreed to the request but with a key proviso: The Saudi royal family must hand over a section of the Hijaz province where Hashemite Jordans historic territorial rights would be recognized henceforth.
Realizing this would be tantamount to opening the door to the Hashemites return to their ancestral land Fahd refused and turned to France instead.
The new-old Hashemite flag hoisted so dramatically over Aqaba therefore carries a threefold statement, according to DEBKAfiles Middle Eastern sources - one that will register most immediately with Jordans close neighbor on the Gulf of Aqaba coast, Saudi Arabia.
A. It is a symbolic restatement that the Hashemite claim to the Gulf and Hijaz lands on its eastern coast remains in force.
B. Aqaba and Kuwait are the two key transit ports for merchandise bound for Iraq. The flag may be interpreted as a message that the Hashemite branch which once ruled Baghdad has not relinquished its claim there either.
C. This message is as much religious as geopolitical and is addressed to al Qaeda and its Wahhabist mentors in Saudi Arabia, Sinai, Jordan, Iraq and Syria: the true and historic messengers of the Prophet Mohammed and his teachings are not al Qaeda but the Hashemites by virtue of shared ancestry and long rule in the holy places.
The giant flag bears testimony to the huge importance of symbols in the Middle East, something Israel, which long ago cancelled its annual military parade and flies only small Star of David flags outside government institutions, overlooks.
Early this week, the Jordanians took down their giant flag for two days after it was torn by strong winds. But the huge banner was up and fluttering overhead by Wednesday, October 18. Some Aqabans complain to their Eilat neighbors that the flag keeps them awake at night. It snaps loudly in the wind, sending explosion-like sounds across the town. But King Abdullah II seems to be sleeping all the more soundly as he dreams of the Hashemites return to their former glory
Worse times for whom?
I'm curious if this flag will be having any influence upon Syria or Iran ..??
Supposedly for everyone.
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