Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood cuts ties to parent group

AP News
Posted: Feb 15, 2016 11:38 AM
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood cuts ties to parent group

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has formally cut ties with the region-wide movement based in Egypt, a spokesman said Monday.

The decision is the latest setback for the wider Brotherhood, once seen as the main political beneficiary of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings but hit hard in recent years by government crackdowns.

Egypt was briefly ruled by an elected president who hailed from the Brotherhood. The military overthrew him in 2013, and the group is now outlawed.

The Jordanian branch has undergone several splits over the past year, with breakaway groups emphasizing a domestic agenda.

The original core group decided late last week, in a meeting of its main decision-making body, or Shura Council, to change its bylaws and cut ties with the parent movement, said a spokesman, Moath Khawaldeh.

"On Thursday, the Shura Council met and amended the basic law, disconnecting the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan from Egypt," he said.

Khawaldeh said the decision is part of reform efforts ahead of internal elections next month.

Jordanian analyst Ibrahim Gharaibeh said he believes the core group came to see its parent movement as an increasing liability. "This led to political concerns (for the group) in Jordan and the group's ability to survive," he said.

Three relatively pragmatic groups have broken away from the more hawkish Brotherhood core group and its political arm, the Islamic Action Front, over the past year.

Disagreements focused on whether to participate in elections in Jordan and the nature of ties with the parent movement and the militant group Hamas, the Brotherhood branch in the Palestinian territories.