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April 14, 2016

Jordan Closes Muslim Brotherhood Headquarters

Muslim_Brotherhood_Emblem.jpg
Emblem used by the Muslim Brotherhood


On April 13, 2016, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan closed the Amman headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Arab News, an English language daily published in Saudi Arabia, reported that Jordanian security services sealed the entrance to the Brotherhood’s main office after thoroughly searching and evacuating the building (“Jordan closes Brotherhood HQ,” April 14).

Abdelkader al-Khatib, the group’s lawyer, claimed that the Jordanian government’s actions were, “clearly a political decision in line with what is happening in the region.” Khatib also said that the effort, “has the sole purpose of influencing the upcoming elections and results.”

Arab News pointed out that, “authorities view the Brotherhood as an illegal organization because its license was not renewed in accordance with a political parties law adopted in 2014.”

As CAMERA has noted (“Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in Its Own, Original Words,” July 11, 2013), the Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 to repel Western influence and restore the Sunni Muslim caliphate that ended shortly after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The group’s credo is “Allah is our objective, The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Unlike other Salafist jihadi groups, the Brotherhood does not eschew electoral politics. Rather, it seeks to win elections with the goal of implementing sharia (Islamic) law and taking steps towards an “Islamic society” after its ascendance. In contrast to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which have origins from the Brotherhood, the movement’s strategy is one of patience; it professes non-violence and “burrows” into political systems, claiming moderation. However, its objectives—including Islamic supremacism—are the same as its terrorist brethren, who it frequently spawns.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been increasingly expansive in the last decade.

In 2006, Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group and a Muslim Brotherhood derivative, won elections in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has since refused to hold new elections and has instituted draconian measures against women, homosexuals and non-Muslim minorities in accordance with its interpretation of Islam.

More recently, in June 2012, a Brotherhood-connected political party came to power under President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. Shortly after Morsi’s election, in keeping with Brotherhood doctrine and stated objectives, moves were made to Islamize society.

As The Daily Beast, an online newspaper, noted in August 2013 one month after Morsi was ousted by Egypt’s military under General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:

“The Muslim Brotherhood is showing the world its true colors. The groups that ‘renounced violence’ in an effort to gain political power is engaged in a full-scale campaign of terror against Egypt’s Christian minority. Brotherhood leaders have incited their followers to attack Christian homes, shops, schools and churches throughout the country. Samuel Tadros, an Egyptian scholar with the Hudson Institute, told me [Kristen Powers, political analyst and commentator] these attacks are the worst violence against Coptic Christians since the 14th century (“The Muslim Brotherhood’s War Against Coptic Christians,” Aug. 22, 2013).”

The Brotherhood has long posed a threat to the Kingdom of Jordan, where it operates under the Islamic Action Front (IAF). In the wake of Hamas’ 2006 victory in Palestinian elections, analyst David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a D.C.-based think tank, wrote, “…despite the kingdom’s surprisingly good economic performance, Islamists may yet increase their political influence in the kingdom (“Jordanian Islamists and Municipal Elections: Confirmation of a Problematic Trend,” July 30, 2007).” The IAF later boycotted elections in 2010 and 2013. Yet, concerns over the Brotherhood’s capabilities in a monarchy ruled by the last of the Hashemite dynasty that once ruled large portions of the Middle East, remain unabated.

Posted by SD at April 14, 2016 01:14 PM

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