Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Select “Hardliner” As New Leader


Jordanian media has reported on the selection of a new leader for the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, described as a “hardliner.” According to a Jordan Times report

Jordan Times May 26,2012 AMMAN — Islamists have selected a conservative to head the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s largest decision-making body, securing conservatives’ grip on the Kingdom’s largest political force. Islamist officials selected on late Thursday Nawaf Obeidat, a longtime party insider and close ally of conservative overall leader Hamam Saeed, as president of the movement’s 52-member Shurah Council, ending the eight-year reign of moderate Abdul Latif Arabiyat.   Obeidat’s victory comes weeks after Saeed narrowly retained his post as overall leader and conservatives pulled off a surprise sweep of the movement’s five-member executive council. According to Islamist sources, Obeidat easily secured the victory after moderate and reformist camps withdrew their candidates in an ongoing protest over alleged irregularities in internal polls last month that saw Saeed defeat reformist candidate Salem Falahat by a two-vote margin.   Islamist leaders did not deny ongoing tensions between so-called moderate and conservative camps, stressing only that despite differences, the movement’s ranks are ‘united’ in their drive for greater political reform. ‘As with any political movement or group, there are going to be differing opinions and views, and these internal elections were no exception,’ Jamil Abu Baker, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, told The Jordan Times. ‘But now that members’ choices have been made, we will stand united as set our strategy for the next four years.’ With the movement’s leadership posts filled, Abu Baker said the Muslim Brotherhood will proceed to tackle a series of ‘pressing issues,’ such as drafting an economic programme, internal administrative reform and the movement’s stance on participation in upcoming parliamentary polls. Observers claim conservatives’ rise to power comes as a direct response to a perceived lack of sincerity among decision-makers to carry out reform and the recent appointment of Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, which marked the end of a months-long warming of ties between Amman and the Islamist movement. While united on a majority of regional and domestic issues, insiders say conservatives and reformists remain divided over political participation, with moderates eager to take part in upcoming polls and conservatives insisting the movement holds firm to its previously announced conditions: constitutional reform guaranteeing the formation of elected governments and an elections law based on a proportional representation system.

In March, the Jordan Times had reported on the internal elections for the Jordanian Brotherhood’s shura (advisory) council which, at that time, were described as a split between the so-called moderate and hardline factions.

Previous posts have reported on various extremist positions of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood including:

  • Praising Turkey’s decision to expel the Israeli ambassador and calling on Jordan and Egypt to do the same. 
  • Demanding punishment for those in Jordan who may have warned Israel about the terror attacks in Eilat.
  • Calling the French ban on full face veils “the beginning of a dangerous battle.”
  • Suggesting that Israel might be behind a bomb attack on an Egyptian Coptic church.
  • Support for Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir, accused by the International Criminal Court of genocide in Sudan. 
  • Support for marriage of girls at age 15.
  • Calling on Palestinians to begin a “Third Intifada.”
  • Calling for martyrdom over religious sites in Israel.
  • Opposing a U.N treaty on the rights of women.
  • Supporting a boycott on goods produced by “enemies of Islam.”
  • Calling for more suicide attacks against Israel.

 Numerous posts have covered the ongoing struggles within the Jordanian Brotherhood.

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