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Qadah charged with slander, incitement after ‘insulting’ FB post

By Rana Husseini - Jul 31,2017 - Last updated at Jul 31,2017

AMMAN — The Court of First Instance’s prosecutor has levelled charges of slander, incitement and defamation against a local journalist who reportedly posted a video on his Facebook page earlier this month, which was considered “insulting” and “derogatory” to women in Jordan.

“The defendant, Mohammad Qadah, was recently summoned to the court and asked about the content of the video he published on his Facebook page,” said lawyer Ahmad Matalqa, who is representing 16 individuals who filed a case against Qadah.

Matalqa told The Jordan Times on Monday that the Amman prosecutor has heard several witnesses in the case, then summoned Qadah and charged him last week.

“Qadah pleaded not guilty to the charges and the prosecutor is expected to refer the case to the court to begin proceedings, following the conclusion of the judicial holiday in late August,” according to the lawyer.

In a 14-minute video clip posted on Facebook on July 3, journalist Qadah allegedly described some Jordanian women as “milking cows” and claimed that the “way they dressed, by exposing parts of their bodies, encourage prostitution, adultery and rape in the country”.

“The way some women dress in Jordan violates the religion and the values of our conservative society,” he continued in his video clip.

The journalist also said that “ugly women, who look like my shoes, resort to wearing exposed clothes to attract men”.

Qadah also heavily criticised a woman whom he claimed was “wearing a tight jeans that showed her bottom as a bomb”.

He went on to describe another woman, who was wearing torn trousers, by saying that “she was walking and her underwear was showing…she might as well go out in her underwear”.

Qadah, who was followed by over 40,000 people on Facebook at the time the video was published, added that “we should have religious police [mutaween], like in Saudi Arabia, to monitor such women and what they wear”.

Jordanian men were also reportedly criticised by Qadah for “failing to prevent their women from leaving their homes with exposed clothes”. 

“Fathers and brothers... where is your honour and dignity? You should prevent your female relatives from wearing such clothes and going out to seduce men. The weather is hot already,” he reportedly said in the video clip.

Following the viral spread of Qadah’s video, his followers increased by 8,000. He later apologised, saying “he most probably used the wrong terms, but still sticks to his opinion regarding women’s dress styles”.

The journalist used to host a weekly show on the Josat satellite channel, but the owners of the channel decided to indefinitely suspend his programme since the incident.

Many of his followers supported his criticism “of how women dressed and found no harm in what he said”.

Others heavily criticised him for the way he portrayed women in Jordan and for connecting the way they dressed “with honour, reputation, and encouraging rape and harassment against them”.

The alleged video and the apology released later on prompted 16 individuals to file a case against Qadah as they felt that his remarks in the widely-circulated video would “instigate physical violence and harm against a large sector of women in the society, while also slandering them and their reputation”.

 

The individuals at the same time stressed that they are in favour of “freedom of expression, as long as it is in accordance with the law”.    

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