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But Jordanians do not think Americans will stereotype them because the Fort Hood shooter's parents came from Jordan.
The Jordanian government may be attempting to stay out of the public sphere with this issue to avoid creating the appearance that it’s taking the defensive and may be partially to blame, said Mohammad H. Al-Momani, a political science professor at Yarmouk University.
The Jordanian government is taking it at “face value that most people think of Jordan as not associated with terrorism,” he said. “It seems that they aren’t taking a defense posture here because they don’t think they should be doing it.”
Many Jordanians are in shock that any of their fellow countrymen could carry out such a violent act.
“Jordanian Muslims don’t have this mentality. Maybe he got brainwashed by [fundamentalist] Muslims,” said Qais Abbasi, a Jordanian Christian who works at a local cafe and bookshop.
Still, Jordan is not unfamiliar with terrorists rising from their ranks. Most famously, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, came from the Amman suburb of Zarqa. Many Jordanians point to this connection and the limited fallout from it as evidence that their lives will go on despite Hasan’s ties to the Arab world.
“Maybe people will be afraid to come to Jordan, I don’t know,” said Hisham Miyba, who owns and operates one of the oldest bookstores in Amman. “But this is an internal problem for America. It is not our problem.”
Those trying to turn this incident into a reason to suspect Muslims of potential wrongdoing are peddling propaganda for the likes of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, said Basil Ahmad, who owns a lamp shop in Amman. Of the millions of Muslims in the U.S., why let one “crazy” one ruin things for the group. Additionally, Ahmad argued that it’s wrong to even think of Hasan as Jordanian.
“He was American-born and his father was Arab. Obama’s father was Kenyan, and now he’s the president of the United States,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where your father was from.”
Despite the Jordanians who are confident that this latest incident, bad as it may be, will not have lasting consequences on their business and image, a number of people in the tourism industry are worried that their business is bound to suffer.
“Already very few tourists come to Jordan from America,” said Omar, who owns a souvenir shop in downtown Amman. He added, however, that he doesn’t blame Americans for not wanting to come to the region after events like this one.
“If a Jordanian was killed in Egypt, for example, I wouldn’t go to Egypt. Maybe Americans think like me,” he said.