Jordan MP pulls gun against rival on TV
If you think Asian politics are wild, you haven't seen Middle-Eastern politics. A discussion between two Jordanian politicians started out as a mud-slinging debate before spiralling into a shoe-flinging, pistol-whipping affair—all on live national TV.
The brawl between lawmaker Mohammed Shawabka and his rival, political activist Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad, a former MP who supports the Syrian regime, erupted shortly after the start of the programme which was broadcast on the satellite channel JoSat.
The debate about Jordanian politics and the uprising in neighbouring Syria began with harsh words and both men trading insults. Less than two minutes into the argument, the mood turned particularly tense as they began accusing each other of various crimes and deviancies.
Shawabka then stood up and began screaming at Mansour, accusing him of being in the pay of the Syrian regime. Mansour countered by saying that Shawabka worked for the Israeli intelligence agency. "You're a Mossad agent," said Mansour. "And you're a big crook," replied Shawabka.
Mansour then continued calling Shawabka "a mafia thief who bought people's votes" and cursed Shawabka's father. This was when Shawabka flipped his lid, and the show’s moderator Mohammed Habashneh lost control of his guests.
Shawabka bent over, yanked his shoe off and chucked it at Mansour, who ducked behind the desk to evade the projectile, knocking the table over. Having missed the chance to flatten Mansour with his heel, Shawabka whipped out a silver pistol from his waistband and waved it at Mansour, who was coming at him.
As the two men struggled with each other, a panicked Habashneh tried to keep them apart by getting between them, but he was unable to separate them and the telecast was terminated.
It was later reported that no shots were fired, but Mansour had lodged a police report and Shawabka could be charged with attempted murder. Mansour told Jordan's Gerasa News that bringing a concealed weapon into a newsroom was "an insult to the media" and that he had been subjected to a public bullying.
He added that for an MP to act like that conveyed the dangerous sense that one could be subjected to abuse and death threats simply for stating an opinion.
According to an Al Arabiya report, Shawabka's driver was also involved in the brawl, punching Mansour in the face before studio staff pulled him out of the fight.
Source: The Times Of Israel
Published: 16th July 2012