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Former Brotherhood leader faces disciplinary measures

By Taylor Luck - Jun 07,2014 - Last updated at Jun 07,2014

AMMAN — The Muslim Brotherhood leadership plans to take disciplinary measures against former overall leader Abdul Majid Thneibat for allegedly “inciting insurrection” within the movement, Brotherhood officials said Saturday.

Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy leader of the Brotherhood, said Thneibat is to face disciplinary action from the group’s executive office this week for recent statements challenging the movement’s leadership and calling for an internal “uprising”.

The liberal Islamist is facing several penalties for his ongoing defiance of the movement’s conservative-dominated leadership, including a lifetime ban, according to sources.

The move comes one week after Thneibat hosted the first of a series of so-called “reform” summits in which 100 dissenting members called for an overhaul of the movement’s leadership structure and the ousting of current overall leader Hammam Saeed and his deputy Bani Rsheid.

Thneibat followed the conference with the announcement of a second summit in Karak later this month, urging members to spread a “reform uprising” against the movement’s leadership across the country.

“If [Thneibat] does not refrain from continuing to make inflammatory remarks and encouraging divisions within the movement, we will take disciplinary action against him like any other member,” Bani Rsheid told The Jordan Times.

“In order to protect the interest of the group and all members, we will move forward this week to consider penalties — all options are on the table,” he said, without ruling out the possibility that the Brotherhood’s leadership may move to “ban” Thneibat from the movement.

According to a second source, the Brotherhood’s executive office is set to hand down lifetime bans to Thneibat and 10 other members who were active in hosting the Irbid conference, which was held despite warnings from the movement’s leadership.

Thneibat and a group of 40 like-minded reformists are calling for reforming the Muslim Brotherhood’s secretive governing structure and securing greater independence for its political branch, the Islamic Action Front.

Their calls follow a controversial decision by an internal Brotherhood court to expel leading liberal members Rheil Gharaibeh, Nabil Kofahi and Jamil Dheisat for their involvement in the establishment of the National Building Initiative (Zamzam), seen as a potential political rival.

In order to quell the growing controversy, Saeed formed a negotiating team late last month headed by former senator and prominent liberal figure Abdul Latif Arabiyat to mediate the trio’s return.

As of Saturday, the “positive” talks between the Brotherhood leadership and the Zamzam members were ongoing.

Despite calls for Saeed’s ouster, the Brotherhood’s conservative wing has consolidated its hold on the movement in recent weeks, winning a majority of seats on the IAF shura council in internal polls last month.

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