Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan expels leaders of 'splinter faction'

Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan expels leaders of 'splinter faction'
Jordan's Brotherhood has kicked out the ring-leaders of a group who wanted to refocus the group on Jordanian issues, distancing it from its international affiliations.
3 min read
16 February, 2015
Jordanian PM Abdullah Ensour was approached by the group of ten [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu/Getty]

The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has expelled ten members of the group, who had reportedly been forming a faction with a view to changing the Brotherhood's priorities.

Abdul-Majid al-Thunaibat is the most prominent member to be expelled. He is the former comptroller-general of the Brotherhood in Jordan and member of the International Guidance Bureau.

Brotherhood leaders objected to the group's plans to re-register the group with a new set of aims, focusing on domestic issues.

Sources told al-Araby that 45 members signed the application to reregister, but it had been filed by a delegation of ten people.

The decision was taken at an emergency session held by the Brotherhood's Shura Council on Saturday evening.

Request for a new licence

Nawaf Obeidat, chairman of the Shura Council, told al-Araby the ten members given the boot had asked Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour to obtain a license for a new body in the Brotherhood's name - a move he described as an attempt to weaken and splinter the Muslim Brotherhood.

Obeidat also said the expelled group wanted to separate the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan from its international affiliations and restrict its scope to local Jordanian issues.

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Decisions made by the group's Shura Council, according to the Basic Law of the Muslim Brotherhood, are binding and irreversible, unlike decisions made by the Muslim Brotherhood internal court, which can be appealed.

The committee said the issue of reforming the group was the subject of an ongoing internal dialogue.

Another leader expelled was the coordinator of the Jordanian Initiative for Building (Zamzam), Rheil Gharaibeh.

Gharaibeh had previously been expelled by an internal court after he founded Zamzam in November 2012, seen at the time as a splinter faction. The decision was not implemented, pending reconciliation negotiations - but no agreement was ever reached.

The Shura Council's decision was absolute, expelling every member of the group who attempted to file for a new permit in the group's name, stressing that they did not represent the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

Saud Abu Mahfouz, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Executive Bureau tasked with enforcing the Shura Council ruling, told al-Araby: "The binding decision issued by the Shura Council did not mention specific names, but expelled all those who circumvented legal channels by trying to obtain a new permit in the name of the group.

"The Executive Office is dealing with a mandatory decision, and must follow up and take action over any regulatory offences."

Abu Mahfouz declined to name the members affected.

The former comptroller-general of the Brotherhood, Abdul-Majid al-Thunaibat, said he had not yet formally received the dismissal decision.

Inclusive leadership?

In the first reaction by the Supreme Committee for the Reform of the Muslim Brotherhood, it condemned the Shura Council's decision, describing it as "unjust". In a statement issued on Sunday evening following a meeting at the home of Abdul-Majid al-Thunaibat, the committee said the decision was not the decision of a wise and inclusive leadership.

The committee said the issue of reforming the group was the subject of an ongoing internal dialogue, adding that the Shura Council decision violated the Brotherhood's Basic Law, which requires an absolute majority to approve the dismissal of members. The committee accused the Shura Council of issuing the decision in the absence of the required quorum.

The committee said the decision was further proof that the current leadership of the group harmed the reputation and interests of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.