AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s powerful Islamic opposition has accused the government of apostasy for assisting the U.S. in Afghanistan. The religious edict by the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, is not binding, but it highlights the tension with the conservative group, which boycotted last month’s parliamentary election. Jordan says it has only 300 peacekeepers in Afghanistan. But a bombing attack that killed a Jordanian double agent in Afghanistan’s eastern province last January revealed the presence of its intelligence officers there. Sunday’s edict said that Islam bars Muslims from fighting against fellow Muslims and the government had “abandoned Islam” because it was helping non-Muslims.
The IAF is the political action arm of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and earlier posts have reported on what has been described as the crisis within the organization. Generally unreported are the ties between the IAF and the US Muslim Brotherhood. The former IAF caretaker was Ishaq Farhan, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, one of the three founders of the IAF, 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. In 2000, Mr. Farhan was denied entry to the U.S. after having had his visa revoked in the prior year without informing him. The New York Times reported at that time that unidentified American diplomats called Mr. Farhan a “moderating force” and that he “as kept a distance from the vociferous opposition to peaceful relations with Israel.” However, in 2003 a media report said that the IAF had “declared a jihad in favor of Iraq and Palestine if the US attacks Iraq.” More recently, after congratulating President Obama on his election, the IAF called his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan “a hostile step against the Arab and Islamic worlds. In 2009, the IAF also called Israeli actions in Gaza “the ugliest crime in history.”
Previous posts have discussed the turmoil within the IAF.