The Jordanian headquarters of the Islamist movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has been shut down by law enforcement, various news outlets report.
Reuters learned from Badi al Rafaiah, a spokesman for MB, that the group’s building in the Jordanian capital of Amman was closed down on the city governor’s orders, adding that no specific reason was provided for the closure.
“The MB has a strong support base in urban areas and its political wing, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), is Jordan’s largest opposition party,” notes BBC. “The group split in 2014 into the old movement and a new, more moderate, officially licensed branch. The headquarters of the original movement were targeted in Wednesday’s raid.”
“We were surprised by this move from the Public Security Department,” the MB spokesman told Reuters. “Many policemen and gendarmes came … broke the door down and threw out all the staff with an order to close down the main centre, which they sealed off without giving any explanation.”
The increase of jihadists in the region has reportedly strained the relationship between MB and law enforcement in Jordan.
BBC reports, “The IAF has boycotted parliamentary elections, alleging the system marginalizes the party, while authorities have sporadically cracked down on the group.”
“Last year, a Muslim Brotherhood leader was jailed for criticizing Jordan’s ally the UAE [United Arab Emirates], in the first such case involving a top opposition figure in Jordan for years,” it adds.
The Muslim Brotherhood reportedly vowed to take action to combat the closure of its Jordanian headquarters, saying it would resort to legal and political measures to overturn the “illegal” move.
According to The New York Times (NYT), MB warned that the closing of its headquarters would “bring us back to the days of martial law with the absence of law and justice.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan lost its official registration last year after it failed to comply with new government requirements,” notes NYT. “It had been operating in legal limbo since then.”
Jordan has now joined Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia in cracking down on the MB group.
The Times reports:
The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has been thrown into internal turmoil in recent years, with a rift developing between older, more moderate members who want to calm tensions and more hawkish members who want to challenge the government on political reforms, rights and other issues.
Various countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others, have officially designated the MB a terrorist group.