A prominent Muslim Brotherhood official has been freed from a Jordanian jail after serving 13 months in prison.
Zaki Bani Rushaid, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, was released Monday after a concerted campaign by Islamic activists to free him.
Rushaid said in a statement to supporters that Jordan needed to reform “without any delay.” The Brotherhood operative said he would devise “a new campaign that will put the interest of Jordan above all else.”
His release was celebrated by dozens of Brotherhood figures, who set up a tent outside of his home in Amman, Jordan.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated as a terrorist group in several countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others. The Islamist movement is considered the largest political party in Jordan, The New York Times reports.
Rushaid was locked up in November 2014 after being found guilty of “acts harmful to the country’s relations with a friendly nation,” after he criticized the UAE.
On November 17, 2014, he opined on his personal Facebook page that the UAE was involved in a campaign to destroy the Brotherhood. He said the UAE, SAudi Arabia, and Egypt play the “American cop in the region, supports coups and is a cancer in the body of the Arab world.” Reports at the time said the UAE pushed for Rushaid’s detention, upon hearing about his statement.
Rushaid has a history rife with radicalism, as the former office manager for Khaled Mashaal, the chairman of Hamas, according to Mudar Zahran, the secretary general of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition.
Rushaid’s Brotherhood seeks to turn Jordan into a more Islamic-supremacist state. The Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood’s political wing in Jordan, seeks to strengthen ties with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and distance the country from America and Israel. Last year, several members of the Jordanian Brotherhood were arrested for allegedly planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the West Bank.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a radical socialist Islamic cleric who sought to install a worldwide Caliphate. “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet,” al-Banna said of the Brotherhood’s goals.