Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat—A former head of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood slammed the organization’s current leadership as “illegitimate and illegal,” after the Jordanian government declared the Islamist group’s Jordan branch independent of its parent organization in Egypt.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday, the former Supreme Guide of Jordan’s Brotherhood, Abdul Majeed Zunaybat, said that an “interim leadership” for the Muslim Brotherhood would now be formed from members of the group who submitted a request to the cabinet for its re-designation.”
Zunaybat led a breakaway faction of moderate Brotherhood members who requested the Jordanian government grant the Islamist group a new license to operate in the country independent of Egypt’s Brotherhood.
The group’s Executive Office and Shura Council (consultative body) have been dissolved while other administrative bodies will continue to operate until their legal terms expire, Zunaybat maintained.
The interim leadership is set to communicate with all Brotherhood members in order to start work in accordance with the new license.
The calls for a new status for the group highlight a growing rift within the Islamist organization, which over the past two weeks has seen around 50 of its members, including Zunaybat, suspended.
According to the official, the interim leadership will take over the group until a new Supreme Guide, Shura Council and Executive Bureau are elected.
“Ever since the decision was made to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt two years ago, we had to review our Da’wa [proselyting] policy. And since the Brotherhood of Jordan was licensed in 1945 as a branch of the Brotherhood in Egypt . . . we at the time felt embarrassed by the consequences of the [dissolution of the parent organization] on the group in Jordan,” Zunaybat said.
“A group of Brotherhood leaders held two conferences, one in Irbid and the other in Amman, to look into the group’s conditions and adjust its status in accordance with Jordanian law.”
Before an official request was submitted to the government, calls from moderate members for a new license were ignored by the group’s leadership, Zunaybat said.
The Jordanian government on Sunday approved a request to grant the group a license to operate as an independent Jordanian group.
“Today and after the government’s decision, the Brotherhood is legally and legitimately an independent and Jordanian [group] with no links to the group in Egypt or abroad and is subject to Jordanian law like any other Jordanian political organization,” the senior Brotherhood member added.
The Preparatory Committee for reforming the Muslim Brotherhood welcomed in a statement on Monday the government’s approval of the new license, adding that the group will maintain its well-known course of “moderation, discretion and wisdom as well as its name, statute, and internal regulations while carrying out some necessary modifications.”
Mohamed Al-Daameh contributed reporting from Amman