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Brotherhood holds emergency meeting to discuss ‘Zamzam’ split

By Taylor Luck - May 08,2014 - Last updated at May 08,2014

AMMAN — The Muslim Brotherhood’s shura council convened in an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss a “growing rift” over the expulsion of three group members for their affiliation with another initiative.

The Brotherhood’s internal court expelled veteran leaders Rheil Gharaibeh, Jamil Dheisat and Nabil Kofahi late last month for their role in the establishment of the National Building Initiative (Zamzam) late last year. 

Islamist sources told The Jordan Times that the overall leader of the Brotherhood, Hammam Saeed, deputy leader Zaki Bani Rsheid and seven other council members met on Thursday evening to discuss the backlash over the decision to expel the three members.“There are many who believe we should return and review the decision with all the facts on the table,” said a shura council member who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. 

Insiders say the expulsion of Gharaibeh, Dheisat and Kofahi — former leading members of the Brotherhood’s liberal wing — by the conservative-dominated leadership has sparked a growing divide which threatens drive a schism into the heart of the Kingdom’s largest opposition group.

In the wake of the court decision, over 20 Brotherhood members threatened to resign from the movement, according to sources.

In a statement late Wednesday, the movement’s northern branch called for a general conference to “reform party leadership and dissolve” its executive office.

The Zamzam initiative, which has attracted over 800 members, is a pro-reform political coalition comprising leading figures from across the political spectrum seeking a “consensus” over the country’s democratic reform process. 

The three expelled members denied accusations that the initiative stood to rival the Brotherhood as a political movement, stressing that it aims to serve as a coalition and not a political party.

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