memri

November 21, 2017
Clip No.
6355

Former Jordanian MP Storms Off Studio after Victim Accused Police Officer of Sexual Harassment: "You Are Tarnishing the Image of Jordanian Women"

During a debate filmed in a Jordanian TV studio, a victim of sexual harassment was heckled by panel member Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe, a lawyer and former member of the Jordanian parliament. A sexual harassment victim recounted that when she went to the police to file a complaint, the police officer started to harass her. Al-Kharabshe shouted that "Jordanian girls are not like that" and asked: "Are you Jordanian? Show me your ID." He eventually stormed off the set after the TV host asked him to show respect for his guests. "They are tarnishing the image [of Jordanian girls]," he said as a parting shot as he left. The debate, which aired on Deutsche Welle TV Arabia on November 21, included an interview with Lina Khalifeh, founder of SheFighter Studio for Self-Defense for women in Jordan.

 

Lina Khalifeh, founder, SheFighter Studio: When I founded the SheFighter Studio for Self-Defense for Women in Jordan, I thought that raising the awareness of women would be very difficult, but the studio has become very popular among girls. Girls are the victims of sexual harassment and of domestic violence. Some girls come to me and report about cases, and some of them file complaints with the Family Protection Department. But what should a girl do when she is being harassed on the street, or when she becomes a victim of domestic violence? Should she just cry and receive blows to the head, or should she stand up and defend herself, as anyone would?

 

[…]

 

Sexual harassment victim: I fell victim to sexual harassment, and when I filed a complaint, the policeman himself harassed me. I didn't know who to turn to. Thank God that in my case, my family supports me, but I'm talking on behalf of all Jordanian girls. Nobody...

 

Moderator: Until today, you have not shown your face...

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: The law defends the Jordanian girls. Speak for yourself. Jordanian girls are not like that.

 

Moderator: Let her speak.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Jordanian girls don't go to the media. Are you Jordanian? Show me your ID.

 

Moderator: You should show respect to all my guests. You must show respect to all my guests...

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: I have the right to defend my country.

 

Moderator: Defend as much as you like, but listen to her first. Thank you.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Are you telling me that an honest policeman would harass a woman who complains she was harassed?

 

Sexual harassment victim: With all due respect, we are the victims of this, so we know best.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: So take it to court.

 

Sexual harassment victim: I am 21 years old...

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: In 21 years you've gained all that experience?

 

Moderator: In a little more time, who knows what she might do... Any woman on my show is worthy of respect, or else, you don't belong on this show. So with your permission...

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: What you are saying is not logical, and I won't allow you to talk to me like that. Be polite when you talk to me, or there will be hell to pay.

 

Moderator: With your permission, be respectful to my guests.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Shame on you! I'm polite, and I know what I'm talking about.

 

Moderator: There are rules to this show.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Shame on you! I'm polite, and I know what I'm talking about.

 

Moderator: There are rules to this show.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Your show is no good. This is not an honorable show.

 

Moderator: That's your opinion.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Go away. Do you think what goes on where you live [Germany] can happen here? We have honor, and our country has honor.

 

Moderator: You are welcome on the show, but showing respect to my guests is very important.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Bye. Did I curse you? You are tarnishing the image of Jordanian women. This is unacceptable. The Jordanian woman is honorable, and if a woman is subject to anything, a hundred people come to her defense. The law also protects women. Policemen do not harass them. It's not true.

 

Moderator: That's her personal experience.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Listen, this experience is not true. I challenge anyone to prove it's true.

 

Moderator: That's her personal experience. Lina, please sit down.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: It's not true.

 

Moderator: Please sit down...

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: If a policeman harassed her, I promise to take him to the director of the Public Security Directorate. I will bring him over, and she can talk to him. But when a woman shows up, hides herself, and talks like that - you, the girls of Jordan, should not accept this. They are tarnishing your image.

 

Moderator: Let see what our audience think. You have the right to answer.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe walks off the show

 

Thank you for every minute you have been on this show, but one must follow the rules and ethics of the show.

 

[…]