Jordan Courts Muslim Brotherhood Following Egyptian Elections


AFP is reporting that Jordan is trying to “woo” the Muslim Brotherhood in that country after its gains following the election of Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi as Egyptian President. According to the report:

AMMAN — Jordan is trying to woo the powerful Muslim Brotherhood after it gained more ground following the election of Islamist Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first civilian president, analysts said on Monday. Urging opposition Islamists to take part in early elections this year, King Abdullah II on Thursday ordered parliament to amend a controversial electoral law after they threatened to boycott the polls. On the same day, he hosted Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on his second official visit this year since his expulsion in 1999. ‘The turning point in Jordan’s official position towards the Islamists following Morsi’s victory is very obvious,’ Oreib Rintawi, who heads the Amman-based Al-Quds Centre for Political Studies, told AFP. ‘Decision-makers here have realised that the region is now in the ‘Brotherhood era.’ The Islamists are already ruling in some Arab countries.’ In the wake of the Arab Spring, moderate Islamist parties recorded electoral victories in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. In 1946, Jordan officially recognised the Brotherhood as a charity, which in 1992 formed its political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF). The movement has never called for an Islamic state in Jordan, where it is tolerated by the authorities and has wide grassroots support. ‘One clear indication was the king’s order to amend the electoral law to convince them to take part in the upcoming elections,’ said Rintawi. On Sunday, the Jordanian king said ‘our doors and hearts are open to everyone, including the Muslim Brotherhood and their party.’ The Islamists and other opposition groups have said they are considering a boycott mainly because they can only compete for 17 of the lower house’s 140 seats. But the king has asked MPs to increase that number. Currently the IAF holds no seats because it boycotted the last election in 2010. ‘Jordan is trying to adapt, particularly after the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The king hosted Meshaal and received a delegation of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood. This is another indication,’ said Rintawi. Relations with Hamas have been strained since Jordan expelled Meshaal and three other Hamas members after the group had been accused of threatening security and stability.

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In May, a post reported on the selection of a new leader for the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, described as a “hardliner. 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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