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May
12

Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Leadership Resigns; Likely Caretaker Is Director Of IIIT

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Middle Eastern media are reporting on the resignation of the executive office at the Islamic Action Front (IAF), as the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. The resignation is said to be the result of criticism of the IAF Secretary-General by more moderate factions in the movement. According to a report in the Jordan Times:

Members of the executive office at the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, on Saturday tendered their resignations to the group’s shura council, according to party officials. The move put an end to weeks of speculations about fate of the office, as well as IAF Secretary General Zaki Bani Rsheid, who was at the centre of a disagreement among the group’s leadership. Bani Rsheid confirmed to The Jordan Times that he handed his resignation to the shura council, the group’s highest authority, after a meeting on Thursday. The council meeting was held behind closed doors late Thursday in a bid to contain growing differences within the group’s major ranks. Bani Rsheid refused to comment on the reasons behind his decision to resign a few months before his tenure at the helm of the party comes to an end. A Muslim Brotherhood statement said the shura council will decide on the future of the IAF executive office in light of the resignations. The shura council is expected to announce a caretaker for the party to prepare for early elections in the next few months, according to IAF sources. Several sources confirmed that Ishaq Farhan will be named as caretaker, with an official announcement expected in the next few days. Bani Rsheid, who has served as IAF secretary general for more than three years, has been at odds with a number of moderate IAF leaders over the party’s ties with Hamas and the group’s position on relations with the government, according to party sources.

Another report described the resignation of Mr. Rsheid as follows:

Bani Rsheid’s resignation came as a result of an internal conflict between the hawks and doves in the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the IAF,” political analyst Mohammad Abu Rumman told AFP. “The conflict is related to the movement’s ties with Hamas. The doves do not want to be influenced by Hamas, while Bani Rsheid is considered close to Hamas.”

Ishaq Farhan, identified as the likely caretaker,is a Jordanian of Palestinian origin and a former education minister and senator. Mr. Farhan is also listed as a director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism. A report in the Washington Post from June 2007 indicated that IIIT and the SAAR Foundation were still under investigation by the Justice Department at that time.

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