The Muslim Brotherhood of Jordan on Monday slammed a French ban on women wearing full face-face veils in public, calling the measure the ‘beginning of a dangerous battle’. Hammad Said, head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, said the ban ‘was contrary to the human rights principles’ that France takes pride in. ‘We see (in this ban) a neo-crusading attitude towards Muslims in the world, which constitutes the beginning of a dangerous battle,’ he told AFP. ‘This decision attacks Islam and Muslims worldwide.’ Said labelled the measure a ‘violation of a fundamental right’, arguing that ‘if women are allowed to undress at the beach, they should also be allowed to cover up and wear the niqab’. The new law, which affects women who wear full-face veils such as the burqa or the niqab, came into effect Monday and represents the first of its kind to be enforced in Europe. French officials estimate that only around 2,000 women, from a total Muslim population estimated at between four and six million, wear the full-face veils that are traditional in parts of Arab world and South Asia.
The Islamic Action Front (IAF) is generally considered to be the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. The current leader of the IAF is Secretary-General Ishaq Farhan a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, one of the three foundersof 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.”