The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung held a conference in Amman on Monday November 5, 2018 titled, “A Jordanian Vision of the Civil State” which was patronized by Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Engineer, Musa Maaytah.
Maaytah said that the civil state protects all members of society regardless of their national, religious or intellectual affiliations, and it strictly enforces the constitution and laws. He added that the rule of law is the basis of a civil state, and the strict application of the articles of law is a necessary requirement for any successful democratic transition. He continued that the rule of law guarantees the state apparatuses’ execution of their authorities according to the constitution and laws, since a democratic state that respects human rights cannot operate in isolation from this framework.
He stressed that the responsibility of enforcing laws in a fair way is the responsibility of the state, and that the law enforcement is not selective. He continued that the religious, sectarian, ethnic and tribal diversity leads to the flourishing of the cultural, social, and political pluralism, as well as ensures the rights of minorities which also serves as guaranteeing the rights of the majority.
For his turn, CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader said: “We need the Jordanian civil state so that laws will dominate society through the system of laws, the values, and the constitutional equality. He stressed that the civil state has a sister called citizenship, which is the group of rights and duties the sincere citizens exchange with their state and society which consequently guarantees freedoms and basic human rights. He stressed that this is not luxury where it serves as the basis for a dignified life.
For her part, Director of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Anita Ranko stressed that the cultural institution she runs will continue to hold dialogue forums that contribute to setting the basis for democracy and equality for the future of the region and the world.
The first session titled: “The Discussion Paper and the Patriarchal Message” was moderated by lawyer Madeleine M’adi. In this session, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali, presented a paper titled, “The Civil State in the Message of the Catholic Patriarchs of the East”. He pointed out that the message is based on equality among citizens where all citizens enjoy the same rights and duties. He continued that in the civil state religion cannot be politicized to serve certain interests, as the civil state respects religions, freedoms, and ensures that religion cannot be converted into religious or political sects.
Dr. Sabri Rbeihat shed light on the message of His Majesty King Abdullah II’s Sixth Discussion Paper. He said that in the civil state the constitution dominates where all people are under the law. He added that the civil state is characterized by honesty, equality of opportunities, and freedom, at a time when the will of the people prevails.
The second session was titled: “How to Present the Civil State in University Studies?”
which was moderated by lawyer Nazem Ne’ma. Dr. Amani Jarrar, who works at Philadelphia University, spoke about the importance of developing “national education” courses that reflect the moral awareness of students. She also urged introducing educators to the concepts of global citizenship that seeks to create a system of ethics for attaining solidarity among people.
Dr. Hassan Momani, professor of international relations at the University of Jordan, presented a paper titled: “The Bases of the Civil State.” He pointed out that reports on the civil state address the civil state in the history of countries. He pointed out that the enforcement of the civil state must not be viewed through prepared recipes, but rather be discerned as being a process in which all components of society are integrated.
The conference sessions ended with a dialogue session with youths from the Philadelphia University, Jordan University, the American University in Madaba, the Isra’ University, and the Hashemite University. The session was moderated by journalist Suhair Jaradat.