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Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab speaks at a press conference in Amman on Wednesday (Petra photo)

By JT - May 27,2015 - Last updated at May 27,2015

AMMAN — The overall leader of the unlicensed Muslim Brotherhood movement has charged that the establishment of the new Brotherhood society is a “government conspiracy” against the Islamists.

In an interview with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite news channel, Hammam Saeed called on founders of the new Brotherhood to “repent and reconsider” their decision, expressing hope that they embody and represent the movement and not the state.

He was referring to the licensing of a new society under the name of the Muslim Brotherhood in March that severed ties with the mother group in Cairo. The new entity is led by Abdul Majeed Thneibat and its members say the licensing is a reformative move to ensure that the Brotherhood remains a purely Jordanian group. 

Saeed claimed that as a norm in Jordan, any new charity society needs some time until it is licensed, but the new society was licensed “within only a few hours”.

The Muslim Brotherhood-Jordan was licensed in 1946 as a charity affiliated with the mother group in Egypt and relicensed in 1953 as an Islamic society, but remained affiliated with Cairo.

Thneibat, now overall leader of the registered society, has said that Islamist “reformers” started the reform movement two years ago, but the Muslim Brotherhood group opposed this move at the time as some members were “keen to keep personal benefits”.

Blaming the government for not asking the group to rectify its status and register as a local charity rather than remain tied to the mother organisation in Egypt, Thneibat charged that Brotherhood leaders were happy with the status quo because it was for their own benefit.

In recent remarks to journalists, he claimed that before he worked with others to rectify the group’s status, the movement — the Jordanian Brotherhood — had been the only branch still affiliated with the main group in Cairo, receiving orders from there.

Other countries’ groups are independent, he explained.

Thneibat charged that the group, currently led by Saeed, practises the “policy of exclusion” against any member who calls for reform and treats members based on identity or origin.

But Saeed charges that the new Muslim Brotherhood Society is an invention by the government, according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times on his remarks to Al Jazeera.

He went on to claim that his movement is legal and has its licensed political, social and charity arms, alleging that the group has long been the target of state agencies under the “false view” that it poses a threat to the state.

He also described the disagreement among group members as common since its early establishment, claiming that the direct reason behind launching the new Muslim Brotherhood is to “defy and weaken” the mother group.

On his group’s frequent boycott of elections, Saeed said participation in polls is the rule and boycotting is the exception, expressing the Islamist movement’s readiness to run in the elections once there is a “just law”.

“Scrapping the one-person, one-vote electoral system is not enough. There needs to be a suitable political atmosphere pushing citizens to participate in elections,” the hawkish Islamist added.

The one-person, one-vote electoral formula is totally absent in the new elections law the government has prepared, Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Khaled Kalaldeh said recently.

The system has been used in the Kingdom’s parliamentary elections in one form or another since 1993.


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