Oct 23, 2011 18:19 AMMAN, Jordan: A Jordanian Islamist leader says his powerful party has turned down an offer to join the country’s new Cabinet, putting pressure on the country’s King Abdullah II to broaden a proposed political reform package. Hamza Mansour of the Islamic Action Front, Jordan’s largest party, says that they formally informed Prime Minister-designate Awn Al-Khasawneh late Saturday of their decision not to accept an invitation to join his government. Mansour said Sunday that his group “would only join an elected Cabinet.” The party has called for the premier to be elected from a parliamentary majority, rather than be appointed by the king — the ultimate authority in Jordan. Al-Khasawneh, who was designated Monday, is expected to name his Cabinet on Monday or Tuesday.”
For more detailed reporting on this story, go here.
The Islamic Action Front (IAF) is generally considered to be the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. One of the most important leaders of the IAF is 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 reportedat 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.”