AMMAN, Jordan — At least 200,000 persons demonstrated yesterday against the recent bombings of three luxury hotels, while a new online statement attributed to terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi defended the attacks and threatened to cut off the head of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

An anti-terrorist demonstration of such size is unprecedented in the Arab world, where Zarqawi, his mentor, Osama bin Laden, and their al Qaeda organization have attained folk-hero status among Muslim masses.

“Zarqawi, from Amman, we say to you: ‘You are a coward,’ ” protesters chanted while brandishing banners with the names of their tribes from every part of Jordan.

I agree with them. More blog commentary rounded up here.

UPDATE: Here’s a lengthy post, with photos. “I was very struck by the young woman wearing the bandanna, because slogan-covered bandanas are usually a marker of the most extremist demonstrators. They are typical of Hamas supporters celebrating suicide terrorism. But Lina tells me that the slogan the young woman here sports says No to Terrorism.”