Jordan has become the latest entrant to the list of countries that have banned the radical Islamist terrorist organisation – ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ after country’s top court disbanded the radical Islamic group citing the group’s failure to “rectify its legal status”.
According to the reports, Jordan’s top court dissolved the transnational Islamist movement Muslim Brotherhood last week. Since 2014, the Jordanian authorities had considered it illegal, arguing its licence was not renewed under a 2014 law on political parties.
However, the Islamist group continued to operate in Jordan. The relations between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jordanian state had deteriorated further from 2015 when the government authorised an offshoot group, the Muslim Brotherhood Association.
The original Brotherhood had gone to the court to retrieve the properties, however, the top court in Jordan had delivered its final verdict ordering its dissolution.
The Jordanian breakaway faction has also now decided to cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, where hundreds of supporters have been killed and thousands arrested since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is the oldest and most popular Islamist group in the world. The Muslim Brotherhood established in 1945 as a franchise to the parent organisation in Egypt, became the driving force for Islamists in the country. The Brotherhood was also behind the foundation of the country’s chief Islamist party, The Islamic Action Front (IAF).
Reportedly, the Muslim Brotherhood has “dominated politics and unions in Jordan for decades”, but declined steadily and lost power due to internal problems and rifts. The Islamist group even lost its ability to mobilize, and its relations with the Jordanian state continued to deteriorate.
What is Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood is a pan-Islamic ‘movement’ founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a schoolteacher working in the town of Ismailia near Suez. The aim of the movement was to revive the Islamic religion, which would enable the Muslim world to compete with the West and shake off colonial rule.
The teachings of Banna spread across the Islamic world, beyond Egypt, creating various Islamist political movements- including missionary, charitable and advocacy organizations. Even many political parties in various countries in the region— trace their roots to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, some of them use the name Muslim Brotherhood and others do not.
The movement claims that it rejects the use of violent means to secure its goals. However, various offshoots and affiliates of the group have been linked to terrorist attacks in the past and have sparked troubles elsewhere in the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood is considered to be the forerunner of modern Islamic terrorism.
The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt has classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and often accuses it of carrying out terrorist attacks. Since the military coup in Egypt since 2013, some members of the Muslim Brotherhood have broken off to form splinter groups that carry out acts of violence against the military-backed government.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is already banned in many countries, including in Islamic countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria. Even Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan have banned the Muslim Brotherhood.
Reportedly, Saudi Arabia has multiple reasons – including regional political dynamics – to ban the Muslim Brotherhood even after the Kingdom had supported it for many years in the past.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had put a more lethal ban on the Muslim Brotherhood in 2014 as part of a broader Emirati fight against the Muslim Brotherhood who had allegedly plotted to overthrow the government. Even Tunisia, where the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Ennahda Party has been powerful, had blacklisted the Egyptian Brotherhood and its affiliates.