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 Opinion Expression
 by Khaled Alnobani (Middle East Editor)


Opinion expression in the Arab world prevails many dilemmas that could not be solved simultaneously. Nowadays we can assume that we can express our opinion freely as long as it doesn't contradict some important people interests. Who are those people and what they are - that depends on the circumstances prevailing in the situation. There is no prescribed subscription for what expressions to avoid but everyone knows the rules. There is one common prevailing word (FEAR). I, myself can write a whole article talking about nothing and get published, if it were neutral i.e., do not have any party to criticize. I tried that and examined it and it worked. Some people are attracted by the discussion of high freedom standards. But that is not the rule, it is the exception. Our taboos in the Arab world get less and less defined. The results of freedom are well known at the end; we cannot overcome freedom barriers. Laws and legislations strongly ties us in the Arab world to limited activity, where we cannot express but the limited vision which we can prove and most of the time any vision either we can prove or not. Fines are more effective than imprisonment because some people can afford imprisonment but cannot pay fines. Think tanks can express their opinion very freely about any subject, not only the subjects they're experienced with. This is true wherever you go. We saw this happening in Jordan. There's a strange phenomenon when an actor or singer talks, we prematurely expect that his ideas are outstanding, and he is distinguished. This is a negative propaganda. They are like other people except that they are famous, what make their words extraordinary is our ignorance of the truth and our lack of conscious knowledge.

Many times we are attracted to proverbs and what we think as wisdom despite that all knowledge has a context that must be taken within it. We take the particular situation in Jordan, the boundaries of knowledge are not well defined and there are many circumstances of opinion expression which are dealt with by the laws. One cannot know what he will be engaged with. A post on Facebook could ruin a life. This kind of opinion expression which is using Facebook becomes more and more the tradition. It could be a setup, for someone who imagines that there is no punishment. Sooner or later the posts will come to a screening process. It became the tradition in Jordan to legislate and punish opinion expression.



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