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Muslim Brotherhood ends link with Egyptian mother group

By Khetam Malkawi - Feb 14,2016 - Last updated at Feb 14,2016

AMMAN — The Muslim Brotherhood has modified its by-law, ending the group’s affiliation with the mother group in Cairo, a move that was described by defectors from the movement as “too late”.

The group on Thursday adopted an amended definition of the movement, removing “affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo” from its by-law, said Murad Adaileh, a veteran member of the group and the spokesperson for its political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF).

Adaileh told The Jordan Times that the amendment was proposed three years ago and was under discussion, arguing that it has “no relation with the recent crisis” of the Brotherhood, which has seen hundreds defecting from the largest opposition group.

However, he declined to respond to critics who see the amendment as a “cosmetic” move to improve the group’s image domestically, after it witnessed a perceived setback in its popularity in the Kingdom, amid moves by other Arab countries to demonise the 88-year-old Islamist organisation as a terrorist group.

However, Adaileh insisted that the amendment to the law would not change the entity’s position towards several issues, without further elaboration of these issues.

The crisis of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan started when a group of reformists led by Abdul Majid Thneibat re-registered the movement as a Jordanian society, severing its affiliation with its mother group in Egypt.

More than 400 members and leaders resigned from the original movement at the end of last year, some to join several splinter groups — Thneibat's licensed Muslim Brotherhood Society, the Zamzam Initiative, and the "Partnership and Rescue" committee.

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.

For Rheil Gharaibeh, founder of the Zamzam Initiative, a moderate group with a national platform and an across-the-board membership base, and a former Brotherhood leader, this amendment was one of the reasons for the “differences” between the group’s incumbent leaders and those who resigned.

“We called for this change three years ago, but our request was rejected,” he said.

“It is too late for this modification,” Gharaibeh told The Jordan Times, arguing that the hawkish leaders in charge are “trying to rescue what they can” of a crumbling organisation.

Ghaith Adaileh, a former IAF leader and currently a member of a breakaway group dubbed the “Partnership and Rescue” committee, or “Group of Elders”, agreed with Gharaibeh.

 

“Although this amendment is positive…it has come too late,” he said.

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