Head of ‘Believers Without Borders’ Kidnapped in Jordan After ‘Insulting Islam’

Published November 11th, 2018 - 02:08 GMT
Younis Qandil, the Secretary General of the “Mominoun [Believers] Without Borders” Centre for Research was kidnapped and found tortured in one of the forests in Jordan. (FilePhoto)
Younis Qandil, the Secretary General of the “Mominoun [Believers] Without Borders” Centre for Research was kidnapped and found tortured in one of the forests in Jordan. (FilePhoto)

It was a busy weekend for Jordan. Around 12 people; including children, died in flash floods and a suspicious disappearance of the head of 'Mominoun' ('Believers Without Borders') appeared to be kidnapped, assaulted and has now been accused of blasphemy.

The Secretary General of the “Mominoun [Believers] Without Borders” Centre for Research, Younis Qandil, was found early on Saturday abandoned in one of the forests and tied with clear signs of torture and physical abuse.

According to local media reports, Qandil was attacked by three gunmen who kidnapped him from his car. He was then taken to a forest where he was stripped of his clothes and slashed on the back with a knife.

Translation: “The kidnappers wrote on Anas Qandil’s back: “Islam without borders”.

Younis has been facing a fierce backlash after Jordanian authorities responded to public pressure and cancelled an academic workshop organized by “Mominoun Without Borders” to discuss “People's History of God’s Birth” which some considered an attack and insult on Islam.

The anonymous attackers are believed to be behind threats Qandil had been receiving for the past two weeks.

Translation: “Details of Younis Qandil kidnapping.”

The incitement against Qandil and his organization was reportedly triggered by the Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson and a member of the Jordanian Parliament, Dima Tahboub. She was believed to be prompting a national debate on social media to pressure the government to cancel the event.

Translation: “Waiting for your resignation for the moral responsibility you hold for what happened to Youni Qandil! You better have called the workshop organizers and convince them to change the title of their controversial paper instead of calling the Interior Ministry and use their narrow security perspective which motivated incitement against Jordanian citizens.”

Jordanians shared mixed reactions on the attack on Qandil. Many pointed to the immoral and unacceptable act of kidnapping a person at gunpoint in the name of religion.

Translation: “Anyone who failed to protect Younis and his friends who have been receiving threats for two weeks are responsible about what happened to him, and everyone who incited against their safety.”

Others had linked this incident to what happened with the Jordanian writer, nahed Hattar, who was killed two years ago for “insulting Islam”. In both cases, the motives are believed to be similar and carried out by extremists.

Translation: “From Nahed Hattar’s assassination in front of the Justice Ministry to the kidnapping of Youni Qandil and torturing him. Where is the government? And for how long will it continue to be subjected for extortion? Who imposes the rule of law and who forbids incitement?”

Meanwhile, some Jordanians had another opinion on it. They accused Qandil of fabricating the whole story so he could get fame. Others expressed delight as he got “what he deserved”.

Translation: 1- "Because he wanted to discuss "the birth of God" and this an ultimate infidel. "He was not born or give birth" [Quraan]"

2- "This is a failed scenario to make him a victim and call the attackers as terrorists".

3- "This is an Indian movie. Do you think people are this stupid to believe such plays that you play with Islam? May God punish you with what you deserve."


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