US media is reporting on the ongoing turmoil within the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. According to the AP report, a top leader of the group was released from prison as more than 300 “activists” resigned in recent days:
January 4, 2015 AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan on Monday released a top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group after he served over two-thirds of his 18-month prison term for criticizing the United Arab Emirates, an ally of the kingdom.
Zaki Bani Ersheid’s release comes at a time of growing divisions in the Jordanian branch of the pan-Arab Brotherhood, weakening its long-time role as the main political opposition.
In 2015, the Jordanian branch split, with a breakaway faction emphasizing its Jordanian identity and seeking government recognition. Bani Ersheid is the deputy leader of the original Brotherhood, which retains ties to the regional parent movement.
In another sign of internal turmoil, more than 300 activists, including senior members, resigned from the original Brotherhood branch in recent days, in part because of disputes over previous leadership elections, according to movement officials.”
The regional movement also suffered setbacks, including government crackdowns, since initially emerging as the main beneficiary of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.
Bani Ersheid was released early Monday, 13 months after his November 2014 arrest. He had been sentenced to 18 months after he criticized the UAE for labeling the Brotherhood a terrorist group.
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Last month, the GMBDW reported that key members of the the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood had resigned in the ongoing dispute between rival factions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.
The GMBDW reported in September that a Jordanian television station close to the Muslim Brotherhood had been prevented from broadcasting by the Jordanian government, a move likely related to the legal dispute between the Jordanian Brotherhood and a new splinter group supported by the government. We reported in March that the Jordanian government planned to re-designate a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood splinter group known as the “Zamzam Initiative” as independent from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood parent organization. We reported shortly thereafter that a Muslim Brotherhood leader in exile had issued a statement disavowing the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood splinter group. We reported last month that the Jordanian Brotherhood is seeking legal action to recover assets transferred to a what is likely the Zamzan group. Other developments of interest have included:
- In March 2014, we discussed an article in a UAE newspaper suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan was facing an increasingly deteriorating situation and in July 2103, Jordanian media reported that the Jordanian Brotherhood was “in shock” over the deposition of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
- In April 2014, we reported that that the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood had expelled three senior members for trying to initiate reforms.
- In June 2014, we discussed an article that revealed internal conflicts within the Jordanian Brotherhood.Muslim Brotherhood.
- In December 2014, we reported that the Jordanian government had arrested 21 Muslim Brotherhood members accused of smuggling weapons and money into the West Bank.
- In February we reported that the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan had been sentenced to 18 months in prison for publicly criticizing the UAE.
For a history of extremist statements made in the past by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, go here.
For an analysis of the relationship between the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and the government, go here.