Security forces shut down Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Jordan

Jordan's security forces shut down Wednesday the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood's main faction in the capital Amman, a spokesman for the Islamist group confirmed.

Badi al-Rifayaa said the Brotherhood planned to legally fight the closure, which he described as a surprise. Security forces arrived in the morning and sealed off the entrance to the office.

Jordanian newspaper al-Rai said the move followed a complaint by the "licensed" branch of the Brotherhood movement, referring to a smaller splinter group with moderate views.

Last year, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan split into what is seen as a pro-government branch and a larger, more hardline faction that remains allied with the group's international affiliates, including the Egyptian branch and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

The Brotherhood across the Middle East has been thrown into turmoil in recent years. The Egyptian branch rose to power in Cairo but the army overthrew the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013. The group is banned in Egypt as a terrorist organization.

Jordan's group has found itself also caught up in the regional headwinds, with some preferring to distance themselves from other wings abroad.

In Jordan, where the Brotherhood has a decades-long history of being the main opposition group and has largely been tolerated, the government has taken sides in the split and has jailed some members of the main group.

Several governments have moved against the group, over concerns about the rise of organized political Islam, especially in Gulf monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, which has banned the Brotherhood. This has also led to decreased financial support for Hamas.

Last update: Wed, 22/06/2016 - 15:01
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