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Zamzam initiative obtains licences for three associations

By Khetam Malkawi - Jan 21,2015 - Last updated at Jan 21,2015

AMMAN — Leaders of Zamzam, a reform initiative, on Wednesday said they have officially launched three associations, one of which is of a political mission that has been licensed by the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Affairs.

Rheil Gharaibeh, founder of Zamzam and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the establishment of this association does not violate rules and regulations of the Brotherhood.

Zamzam has been introduced by its founders as moderate socio-political movement launched in 2012 by the liberal wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and has attracted other members from the broader political spectrum.

Since its establishment, there has been an internal dispute within the Muslim Brotherhood, which, at one point, terminated the membership of Gharaibeh, Nabil Kofahi and Jamil Dheisat by an internal tribunal ruling in late March for their participation in the establishment of the initiative, whose official name is the National Initiative for Building.

However, the three Islamist leaders mended fences with their mother group. They published a statement on Zamzam’s Facebook page on January 6 thanking the Brotherhood’s shura council for showing understanding of the move and reiterating that the mission of the new movement does not contradict Islamic or national values, and that its doors are open for any would-be member regardless of his religious, intellectual or political orientation.

Gharaibeh said Wednesday that the Muslim Brotherhood did not object to the establishment of three associations by Zamzam.

Officials at the Muslim Brotherhood declined to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, Gharaibeh explained that the establishment of these associations is to legally facilitate activities planned by the group.

In addition to the political association, Zamzam set up social and healthcare bodies, according to the founders.

Commenting on this Ibrahim Gharaibeh, an expert in Islamic groups, said that there is nothing in the Brotherhood’s regulations that prevents its members from establishing other associations. However, he noted that they cannot join any political party except the Islamic Action Front Party.

Citing his sources, the pundit noted that there is no plan for the time being for members of Zamzam to leave the Muslim Brotherhood and so the new organisation “does not constitute a threat” to the Islamist group.

“Zamzam needs more supporters to be in a position to replace the Muslim Brotherhood, which is not the case at this stage,” the expert told The Jordan Times over the phone Wednesday.

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