Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood to split from Egypt parent: sources

Published March 3rd, 2015 - 05:01 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The Jordanian government is to re-designate the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in the Hashemite Kingdom a Jordanian group, independent from its parent organization based in Cairo, informed sources told Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday.

This follows a request made in recent weeks by a number of senior members of the group in Jordan to the country’s government, asking it to grant the branch a new license to operate in the country independent of its parent organization in Egypt. This would be the first such change from the original license granted to the group in 1946, when the Jordanian government designated it a branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood organization.

The request highlights a recent rift in the Jordanian branch of the organization, with several prominent figures expelled due to their position on the status of the group vis-à-vis its Egypt-based parent, where the organization’s main international headquarters is located.

A source within the Jordanian cabinet, who requested anonymity, told Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday that the government had now responded to the request and voted on Sunday to grant the group a new license as a Jordanian organization, independent from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Procedures to finalize the new status of the group are now due to begin within a “few days,” according to Abdul Majeed Zunaybat, a senior member of the Brotherhood in Jordan.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, Zunaybat, who led the recent efforts to re-designate the status of the group in the country, said the government would not get involved in the ongoing intra-branch rift and was dealing with the request in a strictly legal capacity.

Other members of the Jordanian branch, however, speaking to Asharq al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, denied the existence of any such rift.

They maintained that the head of the Jordanian Brotherhood, Hammam Said, had said in a recent high-level branch meeting that he was not against the re-designation of the branch’s status, but that the current request made by some members of the group to the cabinet had been “premature.”

Those members had met recently to vote on the status of the group in Jordan, and agreed on the split from Cairo, Raheel al-Ghoraybeh, a senior member of the branch, told Asharq al-Awsat.

“The Brotherhood in Jordan does not belong to the current leadership. For that reason, a number of senior members decided to hold a conference to vote on the status of the group so that it becomes a genuine Jordanian organization and independent from the Brotherhood in Egypt,” he said.

However, this was subsequently “completely ignored” by the group’s leadership in Amman, Ghoraybeh said, and resulted in the breakaway faction, led by Zunaybat, heading to the Jordanian government to officially make the request.

The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most prominent opposition groups in Jordan but has been at loggerheads with the government recently following a crackdown on Islamist groups in the country.

Observers contend some in the group are now attempting to distance it from its Egyptian parent following a region-wide crackdown on its members and activities in Egypt and several Gulf states, where the group is now banned as a terrorist organization.


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