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Brotherhood wary of possible rival political party

By Raed Omari - Dec 05,2015 - Last updated at Dec 05,2015

AMMAN — Key members of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) have recently resigned amidst concerns within the party’s mother group, the Muslim Brotherhood, that they intend to form a separate political party.

In their resignation letter, a copy of which was seen by The Jordan Times, signatories argued that their collective move has come as a response from the "moderate" leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood to the "radical and individual" policies of the group's "hawks".

The IAF is the political arm of the Brotherhood, the largest opposition group. 

The outgoing members also charged that the Brotherhood's hawkish leadership has been taking decisions on an individual basis to serve "narrow interests and personal agendas" at the expense of the group as a whole.

IAF Spokesperson Murad Adaileh said Saturday that the 28 resigning Islamists are all members in the newly licensed Muslim Brotherhood Society, founded by Abdul Majeed Thneibat, a former overall leader of the mother group.

"In fact, their membership in the Muslim Brotherhood group had been revoked before [after they joined the splinter group]. However, their resignation from the IAF has been accepted anyway," Adaileh said.

Adaileh claimed that the exiting members, historically labelled as "doves", met secretly on Saturday to discuss the possibility of forming a new political party. This was not confirmed by the departing leaders, but the move remains an unwelcome possibility as far as the old guard in the Brotherhood are concerned.

In an IAF statement to The Jordan Times Thursday, the old Muslim Brotherhood's overall leader Hammam Saeed was quoted as saying that the establishment of a new political party violates the group's by-laws, warning he would leave his post and the executive bureau if disagreements continue.

"I call on all my brothers to honour their allegiance [to the leaders of the old group] and refrain from holding meetings to establish a new political party or any entity outside the group," Saeed said.

Adaileh played down the impact of the move on the party.

"Their resignation will not affect the IAF. This year, membership in the IAF has increased by 20 per cent and its branches across the country have increased to 34 from 25. Even if another 100 members quit, the group's 'sole' political arm will remain intact."

 

The ongoing dispute within the Islamists started when a group of reformists led by Thneibat re-registered the Muslim Brotherhood in the Kingdom as a Jordanian society, severing its old affiliation with its mother group in Egypt.
The old group has repeatedly charged that the establishment of the new society is a “government conspiracy” against the Islamist movement, but authorities have brushed off the accusations. 

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