A member of the Jordanian parliament, Mohammed Shawabkeh, stunned his opponent, former lawmaker and political activist Mansour Murad when he pulled out a gun during a heated argument on live TV on on Thursday evening.
The incident occurred during a political debate on Jordanian satellite channel Gosat.
Shawabkeh justified his actions to Jordanian news agency Gerasa News by saying that Murad started attacking members of the Jordanian government, calling them “corrupt parasites.”
Shawabkeh said Murad had no right to criticize the government when he himself is a supporter of the “oppressive Syrian regime.”Shawabkeh said that while participating in a discussion about local political movements and the role of the House of Representatives, he was taken aback by Murad’s attack on Jordan’s government.
The argument got heated when Murad cursed Shawabkeh’s father, which prompted the latter to throw his shoe at him.
Shawabkeh also admitted that his driver became violent with Murad and struck him in the face until the channel’s crew could separate them.
A formal complaint
Murad confirmed to Gerasa News that he has filed a formal complaint, against Shawabkeh, accusing him of attempted murder as well as libel and slander.
Murad described the incident to Gerasa News as public bullying, and said Shawabkeh’s possession of a gun inside a news organization was a blatant insult to the media.
Remaining silent on the incident, Murad says, would have posed a threat to freedom of speech.
Due to Shawabkeh’s position as a member of the parliament, Murad added, he is meant to be a representative of the people; instead he displayed aggressive behavior towards an opposing opinion. Murad said he fears that this could mean that by simply stating an opinion, a person risks being subjected to abuse and death threats.