Jordanian Islamic leaders are planning to issue a religious decree against the government's decision to add Saturday as a day of rest because it is also the Sabbath of the Israeli enemies, according to the Jordanian Times daily.
''We are a Muslim nation with Friday as our day off for prayers and adding Saturday, the Sabbath, means that we follow the norms of our enemy, the Zionist state,'' Ibrahim Zeid Keilani, a leading member of the Islamic Action Front, who accused the government of ''treachery'' was quoted as saying.
The Islamist-dominated professional associations, with a 100,000 members, have joined with Islamic leaders to denounce the government's decision. The government had originally chosen Thursday as a second rest day but received strong opposition from the private sectors and some government departments, complaining that such a weekend would isolate the country from the rest of the world for four days a week. The decision was based on the recommendations made by the Economic Consultative Council chaired by King Abdullah.
Nevertheless, the presidents of the dentists, engineers, agricultural engineers, doctors and pharmacist associations blasted the government for choosing Saturday. Islamic sources told the Jordanian Times that the Islamic Action Front's Sharia Ullema Committee (Islamic Scholars), led by Keilani, would meet next Thursday to issue the religious edict banning Saturday as a day of rest.
The Front's Secretary General, Abdul Latif Arabiyat, supported Keilan'st regjection ''in principle,'' but said the committee's decision would not be binding.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)