AMMAN — A 21-year-old Jordanian blogger, who was stabbed on Sunday by a hooded man in Jabal Luweibdeh, was recovering in hospital Tuesday, her family and friends said.
Enas Musallam was near Darat Al Funun in the upscale Amman neighbourhood at around 7:00pm when a man wearing a hood and gloves reportedly grabbed her from the back and stabbed her in the stomach, according to her colleague Fakher Daas, organiser of the Popular Youth Movement for Change.
“The man then placed the knife on Inas’ neck and told her: ‘Next time it will be your neck if you do not stop,’” Daas told The Jordan Times.
He charged that Musallam was attacked because she “wrote a blog post criticising HRH Prince Hassan’s statements on the public movements in the Kingdom”.
In an interview with Jordan Television’s “Sixty Minutes” programme on Friday, the Prince criticised “the 30 or 40 demonstrators who head to Al Nakheel Square to demonstrate”.
On February 19, Musallam, a fourth year student at the University of Jordan majoring in management information systems, wrote a statement in Arabic on her blog (http://enassmusallam.blogspot.com/2012/02/blog-post_19.html) addressed to Prince Hassan, criticising him for “underestimating the minds and abilities of the Jordanian people”.
“If you think that the Jordanian people’s minds are weak and that they do not realise what they are doing, then rethink your convictions, Your Highness,” Musallam added.
“Please have confidence in the Jordanian people and the freedom and rights slogans the people have been calling for,” she wrote.
Musallam’s mother, Noor Turkumani, said her daughter underwent surgery on Monday and her situation was stable.
“She is still in the intensive care unit and we do not know when she will be discharged,” Turkumani told The Jordan Times.
She stressed that her daughter had no enemies and suggested that she “might have been attacked because of the blog she wrote”.
Daas said he was hopeful the police would “do their utmost to arrest the attackers because this is an attack that targets the freedom of expression in Jordan”.
Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Rakan Majali visited Musallam in hospital and condemned the attack, saying “this attack is targeted against us all”.
“The government rejects such strange practices that are not part of Jordanian society or its people,” the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted the minister as saying.
Public Security Department Spokesperson Lt. Col. Mohammad Khatib told The Jordan Times that the police were investigating the incident but did not believe the attack was related to Musallam’s blog.
“We are ruling out the possibility that the attack was the result of the blog Musallam wrote and are still investigating the incident,” said the police official, who also visited Musallam in hospital.